Gold Won’t Rally Unless This Happens - CPM Group

Apr 20, 2018

Jeffrey Christian

Unless there is a much more negative economic view from investors’ consensus, then gold is unlikely to break out of its current trading range, said Jeff Christian, managing partner at CPM Group.

“It’s going to take higher interest rates to move gold higher,” Christian told Kitco News on the sidelines of the IPMI Precious Metals Mobility Symposium.

Christian noted that a lot of times rising interest rates are positively correlated to gold, since higher rates means bad news for the stock markets, housing markets, and overall economic conditions, all things that are conducive to an uptick in safe haven assets like gold.

Gold Wants To Go Higher, But U.S. Dollar Hijacks Metal's Rise

Anna Golubova Friday April 20, 2018

(Kitco News) - The market is paying attention to the rising U.S. dollar, which poses a big risk to gold prices going into next week, according to analysts.

Gold prices ended the week on a lower note, giving up all of Wednesday’s impressive gains. June Comex gold futures were trading at $1,338.10, down 0.79% on the day, as markets are getting ready to close on Friday. Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index was last at 90.32, up 0.42% on the day.

“The down-move in the yellow metal came as the U.S. dollar index pushed to its daily high. Some profit-taking from the shorter-term futures traders is also featured heading into the weekend,” said Kitco’s senior technical analyst Jim Wyckoff.

Earlier this week, gold hit a high of $1,356, supported by a rally in crude oil and geopolitical risks, which helped the precious metal to stay above the $1,330 level despite a more risk-on sentiment in the marketplace, Wyckoff added.

But, with the next week on the horizon, analysts are telling traders to pay attention to the U.S. dollar.

“The U.S. dollar is a big risk for gold, we’ve seen a bit of an uptick this morning, as the 2-year yield and the 10-year yield curves steepened,” head of global strategy at TD Securities Bart Melek told Kitco News on Friday.

Overall, Melek said he is “little positive” on gold at these levels, saying that the yellow metal is likely to remain range-bound next week.

“The market is looking at the American data and it looks decent. People in the market are talking about potentially four Federal Reserve rate hikes and another two or three the following year, which is driving the 2-year yield,” Melek pointed out.

Bearish Voices

Some analysts are even more cautious when it comes to prices next week, expressing a bearish stance.

Todd 'Bubba' Horwitz, chief market strategist at BubbaTrading.com, said he will remain bearish until gold breaks above the $1,355 an ounce level.

“Sustainability” is key here, stated commodity strategist at RBC Capital Markets Christopher Louney. If gold can hold near the top of its trading range of above $1,350 an ounce for at least a week, then a bigger move seems more likely, Louney explained.

“We need to see a sustained level above that $1,340-$1,350 for at least a week — that would be enough to break on the upside,” he said.

For now, the RBC Capital Markets strategist is not changing his bearish outlook. “We’ve been calling for some consolidation in Q2. A lot of the long-term macro headwinds are still in place, but are softer than a year ago. Have to keep an eye on the U.S. dollar and the Fed,” he noted.

Gold will need a big geopolitical catalyst to break out of the $1,300-$1,360 trading range, Louney added, while highlighting some significant downside risks, including economic growth and equity market gains.

Geopolitics Have The Power To Move Gold

Geopolitical risks will also remain one of the primary drivers next week, according to Capital Economics analyst Simona Gambarini.

“The main thing to monitor is whatever happens to geopolitical risks, it is what is going to drive prices over the next few weeks,” Gambarini said.

This past week was dominated by a very restrained fallout from Western strikes on Syria, sanctions against Russia, and escalating trade war fears between the U.S. and China.

Gambarini added that any new U.S.-Russia developments could move gold prices.

“Markets will continue to monitor closely developments in relations between the U.S. and Russia. Any signs of deterioration are likely to boost demand for gold and other safe-haven assets,” she said. “That said, tensions appear to have already come off the boil as President Trump has backtracked on his decision to impose additional sanctions on Russia and pledged to maintain a ‘good relationship’ with the country.”

Other analysts are waiting for a completely new catalyst to drive prices higher or lower.

“While bulls remain inspired by geopolitics, lingering trade war fears and U.S political risk, bears have found support in the form of rising U.S rate hike expectations,” said research analyst at FXTM Lukman Otunuga. “Gold is likely to remain a battleground for bulls and bears until a fresh directional catalyst is brought into the picture.”

From a technical perspective Otunuga sees prices challenging $1,360 only if gold maintains the level of at least $1,340, adding that any move below $1,340 could lead to a decline towards $1,324.

Data To Watch

There will be a number of important macroeconomic datasets released next week.

Some of the key things to watch include U.S. preliminary GDP Q1 estimates, ECB interest rate decision, U.S. durable goods orders, Markit composite PMI, existing U.S. home sales and new U.S. home sales.

“We expect GDP data for the US (Friday) to show that economic growth slowed in the first quarter, albeit to a still reasonably healthy 2.3% annualized,” analysts at Capital Economics wrote in a note published on Friday.

Is This The End Of Palladium? - Mitsubishi Corp.

Apr 20, 2018

Jonathan Butler Mitsubishi Corporation

Over the next five to seven years, the combustion engine will still be the dominant form of powertrain, meaning cars will still need palladium as emissions controls catalysts, said Jonathan Butler, precious metals strategist at Mitsubishi Corporation.

“It’s only in the very longer term that we start to see battery electric vehicles come in and start to displace some of that traditional platinum and palladium demand in emissions controls, because of course, battery electric vehicles don’t need catalysts,” Butler told Kitco News on the sidelines of the IPMI Precious Metals Mobility Symposium.

Butler noted that there may also be a chance that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles become the dominant form of powertrain. Fuel cells also require the use of platinum-group metals, including palladium.

Gold extends slide to $1,334 as USD remains strong

APRIL 20, 2018 11:23 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Gold accelerated to the downside, down $20 from last week highs.

Stronger US Dollar continues to be the main driver.

Gold dropped further and bottomed at $1,334.95/oz, the lowest level since last Friday. It was hovering near the lows still under pressure. From Wednesday’s high it fell $20 on the back of a rally of the greenback.

The US Dollar rose further across the board during the US session. US Dollar Index Futures rose above the 90.00 area boosted by higher US bond yields. The 10-year yield was at 2.93% at the highest since March.

Levels to watch

The slide pushed the price near last Friday lows located at $1,332; below, attention would turn to an uptrend line from December that stands at $1,330. A break lower could clear the way to more losses with a potential target at $1,320.

To the upside, immediate resistance is now seen at $1,341. The key level to the upside continues to be $1,350. During the week gold traded on top but failed to hold and retreat. The yellow metal needs to break and consolidate significantly above $1,350 in order to clear the way to more gains. The mentioned area has been capping the upside since December.

Gold Should Have Rallied Stronger - Mitsubishi Corp.

Apr 19, 2018

Jonathan Butler Mitsubishi Corporation

One analyst was surprised that spot gold didn’t push higher above its $1,365 an ounce peak a few weeks ago, given heightened geopolitical risks and the prospect of a trade war still looming on investors’ minds.

Gold rallied in early April, testing $1,360 an ounce, which is a key resistance level for many analysts, but lost momentum shortly after.

“We were surprised that gold didn’t rally a bit stronger, given all the geopolitical uncertainty surrounding Syria, Russia, on top of all the concerns about trade wars with China,” Jonathan Butler, precious metals strategist at Mitsubishi Corporation, told Kitco News on the sidelines of the IPMI Precious Metals Mobility Symposium. “In all of these times, gold can act as a safe haven.”

Butler added that in order for gold to push higher, there needs to be a more serious escalation of conflict beyond merely a “war of words.”

“We’re now entering a time where gold demand is getting a little stronger, especially from key Asian markets, so the timing of that together with these geopolitical concerns might bring some further upside from here, we believe,” he said.

Gold trying to get above $1,355 as uncertainties on Russian sanctions linger on

APRIL 19, 2018 10:13 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

The uncertainties about Russian sanctions keep the yellow metal in the $1,350 region.

Bulls have a hard time to break above $1,355 in what might be a crowded trade.

Gold is trading at around $1,348 a troy ounce, virtually unchanged on Thursday as the market is slowly grinding higher but failing to materialize a breakout above 1,355 resistance and 2018 high at 1, 365.70.

Keeping gold afloat are the uncertainties related to the Russian sanctions by the US. According to the latest news, sanctions would come when needed. "We'll do sanctions as soon as they very much deserve it. There's been nobody tougher on Russia than President Donald Trump." said the US President.

Earlier in the week on Sunday, the UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley made a statement confirming that sanctions on Russia were coming imminently. However, the US President pointed out that sanctions are indeed ready, but they will only be implemented if necessary.

The threat of the attack on Syria last week made gold jump above yearly highs to 1,365.70. However after the airstrike was done and dusted and more than 100 missiles were fired on Syrian chemical weapons facilities, gold went down and US stock went on a relief rally with investors focusing on corporate earnings. The military intervention in Syria was seen as an isolated event as opposed to the start of a new war.

Meanwhile, silver, gold little brother, is trading at 11-week highs against the US dollar at $17.25 a troy ounce.

Gold 4-hour chart

Gold is evolving in a bull channel in a triangle pattern in what might be a crowded trade on the bull side. Repeated failures above 1,355 can lead to bull capitulation and a test down to the 1,330 and 1,320 psychological levels. On the other hand, if the bulls win the tug of war above 1,355 then a retest of the 2018 high at 1,365.70 is to be expected

Electric Cars: Precious Metals' New Best Friend

Apr 18, 2018

Johann Wiebe Lead Metals Analyst, Thomson Reuters GFMS

Precious metals, including silver and gold, are clear winners in the electrification of vehicles, said Johann Wiebe, lead metals analyst at Thomson Reuters.

“We see a strong demand there [for silver] from the automotive sector using electrical applications in the various arrays in cars,” Wiebe told Kitco News on the sidelines of the IPMI Precious Metals Mobility Symposium.

Wiebe noted that new applications in vehicles, such as autonomous driving, require more silver in electronics components. Furthermore, the electrification of powertrains will require more silver and gold in electrical components.

“Directly, silver is not going to be so much affected by the electric powertrain push, but indirectly, for sure,” he said.

Gold bulls aim to retest the 1,366.00 region

APRIL 18, 2018 2:23 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Base metals keep rallying on easing geopolitical concerns.

Gold supported by Fed's dot plot, dollar's weakness.

Gold prices retake the upside and stand at their highest for the week, with spot trading at around $1,350.00 a troy ounce after hitting a daily high of 1,355.58. Base metals are up for the week, despite the positive tone in equities, with silver so far leading the way, up over 2% from Friday's close. The bright metal trimmed an early decline, amid receding dollar's demand, and gained on easing geopolitical concerns that usually had a limited impact on prices.

Further backing the commodity is the sharp rally in oil prices which stand at fresh 2018 highs following the US EIA weekly report, with showed that US stockpiles of crude decreased by less-than-expected, but also that a large gasoline inventories' draw.

Gold has topped twice this year in the 1,366.00 region, after bottoming at 1,236.43 mid-December, and held above the 1,300.00 threshold these last couple of months. The fact that the Fed hasn't changed its dot-plot to more than three times is yearly, is surely supporting the bright metal, with scope now to retest the mentioned 1,366.00 region. Beyond it, the next key level is July 2017 high of 1,375.11, while beyond it, the path toward 1,400 becomes clearer.

China: Growth holds steady but slowdown expected – Wells Fargo

APRIL 17, 2018 2:43 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Analysts at Wells Fargo, explained that real GDP growth in China was 6.8% y/y in Q1, the third consecutive print of this magnitude. They noted that a deceleration in investment spending “presages a gradual slowdown in economic growth in the coming quarters.”

Key Quotes:

“Real GDP growth in China met expectations for Q1-2018, matching the Bloomberg consensus forecast of 6.8 percent year over year. Economic growth in China has been remarkably stable over the past couple of years as policymakers have worked to engineer a “soft landing” as the economy enters a more mature phase of its development”.

“Retail sales growth rebounded strongly in Q1 after hitting a mild soft patch to end Q4-2017. In the press release from the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the agency noted an acceleration in services output in March, suggesting solid momentum heading into Q2. However, investment spending and industrial production both decelerated in March. In part, this reflects a conscious effort by Chinese policymakers to shift the economy towards a more consumption oriented model of growth. Trade also likely contributed to growth in Q1.”

“On balance, today’s report reaffirms our outlook for the Chinese economy. Economic growth remains firm, boosted by the cyclical-upturn in the global economy. However, we believe structural factors will continue to weigh on economic growth over time. Decelerating investment spending and an aging population are the ingredients for slowing potential growth. In addition, Chinese policymakers recognize the possible threat from high leverage in the nonfinancial corporate sector and have taken steps to slow credit growth.”

Fed’s Evens: US economy firing on all cylinders

APRIL 17, 2018 1:53 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Fed's Evens is crossing the wires and has said that the US economy is firing on all cylinders.

Key notes:

Fed can raise rates gradually without risk of inflation surge, Evans says

Fed funds rate does not need to rise much above neutral setting

Interest rates expected to rise gradually over next couple of years

Evans says U.S. Economy firing on all cylinders

Job market 'solid,' consumer spending fundamentals 'quite strong'

Capital spending has 'forward momentum,' fiscal policy strongly expansionary

Global growth picking up, sees trade uncertainty

U.S. Inflation somewhat below target, expected to improve

Sees little risk of accelerating, markedly higher inflation

About Charles L. Evans

Charles L. Evans is the ninth president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. In that capacity, he serves on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Federal Reserve System's monetary policy-making body.

Gold trims losses despite USD rebound, $ 1350 back in sight

APRIL 17, 2018 6:23 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Finds buyers once again near $ 1343 levels, as bulls look back to $ 1350.

Will the bounce sustain amid higher European stocks/ risk-on?

Gold futures on Comex are attempting a minor bounce from two-day lows of $ 1343.40, as the bulls continue to find support just ahead of the hourly 200-MA located near $ 1342.20 levels.

Despite, a risk-on rally seen in the European equities, positive Treasury yields and broad USD rebound, the yellow metal is seen making headway once again towards the psychological levels of $ 1350, as the ongoing geopolitical tensions between the US and Russia over the Syrian strikes continue to underpin the sentiment around the safe-haven gold.

However, further upside appears capped as the investors prefer to hold the US currency heading into a flurry of US macro releases due on the card in the session ahead. Meanwhile, a slew of Fedspeaks could also leave the gold bulls on the back foot, as the Fed officials deliver comments on the Fed’s monetary policy programme.

Gold Technicals

FXStreet’s Analyst, Omkar Godbole noted: “A move above $1,350 (previous day's high) could yield a re-test of supply around $1,362 (Feb. 16 high), above which a major resistance is seen at $1,365 (April 11 high). On the downside, breach of support at $1,341 (10-day moving average) would allow a drop to $1,333 (April 12 low) and $1,331 (50-day MA).”

Jim Rogers - Before All This Is Over, Gold Is Going Through The Roof

Apr 16, 2018

Jim Rogers

Legendary investor Jim Rogers said enjoy the market rally while it lasts, issuing a dire warning that “the worst correction of his lifetime,” is coming for stocks.

“Soon something’s going to happen that will make everyone happy again and the market will go up one more time, and that will probably be the last hoorah. Next year will be not a lot of fun,” Rogers said in an interview with Kitco News on Monday.

He added, "It’s been ten years since we have had a bear market, that is very, very unusual so the next bear market is going to be the worst in my lifetime."

When promoted to quantify the correction, Rogers said it would easily be over 50%.

Gold Rally: Only A Matter Of Time - Bill Baruch

Apr 16, 2018

Bill Baruch President, Blue Line Futures

With gold hitting a seven-week high last Wednesday, many investors are hoping to see strong momentum carry over into this week.

But one trader is also warning that while the gold market is ready for a breakout, investors still need to be patient. Bill Baruch, president of Blue Line Futures, said on Monday said that it is only a matter of time before gold breaks its current trading range.

Gold prices are moderately up and trading near their session highs in late-morning dealings Monday. As a sign of the overall technical bullish momentum in the marketplace, traders stepped in at the start of the week and bought early price weakness. June gold was last up $4.00 an ounce at $1,352.00.

Gold up for the day but limited by $1350

APRIL 16, 2018 12:03 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Gold higher despite risk appetite and US data.

A weaker US dollar supports the yellow metal.

Gold peaked after the beginning of the US session at $1,350.50/oz. It failed to follow through and pulled back. As of writing, was trading at $1,346 up modestly from Friday’s close.

The metal was rising despite the improvement in risk appetite. The air strike in Syria by US, British and French forces was done in a way that minimized the potential for an escalation in tensions with Russia. The impact in global markets at the beginning of the week was limited.

The key driver on Monday appears to be USD weakness. US Dollar Index Futures dropped from 89.45 to 89.03, level located marginally above last week lows. The greenback also pulled back against commodity and emerging market currencies. Better-than-expected US data did not offer support to the US dollar. Retail sales rose in March 0.6% above the gain of 0.4% analysts predicted.

Gold Technical Levels

To chart shows gold moving above an uptrend line with support at $1,320. But the upside continues to be limited by near $1,350. The metal needs a daily close well above $1,350 in order to clear the way to more gains. While below, it is likely to remain limited and expose to corrections.

From the current level, the immediate support might lie at $1,340, followed by $1,332 and the mentioned $1,320 (uptrend line Nov-Apr move). Below the last one, an acceleration to the downside seems likely.

Gold: $ 1350 – a tough nut to crack, focus on US retail sales

APRIL 16, 2018 6:23 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Will it regain $ 1350 on weaker US retail sales?

Risk-off and weaker DXY will continue to offer support.

Gold futures on Comex are seen treading water below the midpoint of the 1300 levels, as the bulls remain on the back foot ahead of the US retail sales data release.

The yellow metals failed several attempts to regain the 1350 barrier, despite persisting risk off trades, as investors continue to assess the implications of the weekend’s US-led missile strikes on Syria on the broader markets.

However, the downside remains cushioned amid ongoing sell-off in the US dollar versus its main competitors, as worries over a potential US-Russia war over Syria continue to remain USD-negative.

More so, in an evidence of increased confidence in gold, speculators raised their net long positions in COMEX gold contracts by 363 contracts to 138,212 contracts in the week to April 10, the US CFTC) data showed last Friday.

Attention now turns towards the US retail sales data and FOMC member Bostic’s speech for fresh incentives on the USD-sensitive gold. Also, in focus remains the Chinese Q1 GDP figures. Meanwhile, markets appear to have shrugged-off upbeat comments by the Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari.

Gold Technicals

The Dukascopy Bank Team noted: “The nearest resistance is the monthly R1 and the senior channel at 1,354.00 and 1,360.00, respectively. In case the pair is driven by strong upside momentum, the yellow metal should not edge above the 2017/2018 high of 1,366.17. By and large, Gold has diminished its trading range in a seven-week ascending channel. This might be an early indication of a breakout south. This bearish movement also corresponds with the sensor channel. In terms of today, Gold should not fall below the 1,330.00 mark.”

Oil, Gold To Gain On Syria Strikes; Russian Retaliation In Focus

Sunday April 15, 2018 17:39

Jan Harvey, Sujata Rao

LONDON (Reuters) - Gold and oil will extend their gains on Monday, albeit modestly, when markets open for the first time since Western powers launched a missile attack on Syria, but equities are unlikely to suffer big losses unless the West strikes again or Russia retaliates.

“The news flow is actually better than what it looked like at one point during last week as the strike was surgical, followed by a pullback. Reports show a lot of care was taken not to hit Russian targets, which is a good sign and the market should take heart from that,” said Salman Ahmed, chief investment strategist at Lombard Odier investment managers in London.

Gold has benefited in recent days as a safe-haven asset amid a U.S.-China trade dispute and the escalating conflict in Syria, which also pushed oil above $70 per barrel due to concerns about a spike in Middle Eastern tensions.

World stocks wobbled last week but still ended with the best weekly gain in over a month, as investors await potentially healthy U.S. company earnings.

Despite heightened geopolitical risks, the impact on so-called safe-haven assets has been short-lived and modest. While the yen rose initially on fears of a Syrian strike, it ended near seven-week lows to the dollar last week.

On Saturday, U.S., French and British missile attacks struck at the heart of Syria’s chemical weapons program in retaliation for a suspected poison gas attack a week ago, although the assault appeared unlikely to halt Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s progress in the seven-year-old civil war.

The bombing, denounced by Damascus and its allies as an illegal act of aggression, was the biggest intervention by Western countries against Assad and his powerful ally Russia.

But the three countries said the strikes were limited to Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities and not aimed at toppling Assad or intervening in the civil war.

Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets, said gold was poised to gain on Monday but the rally wouldn’t be very steep: “The focus will be on the counter-reaction from Russia.”

Gold, often used as a store of value in times of political and economic uncertainty, could rally towards $1,400 per ounce after two consecutive weeks of gains.

“If we do break above $1,365, that next week we would be very bullish,” said Aslam.

Tokyo will be the first major market to open on Monday and the yen will likely strengthen to the dollar, but not beyond 106.50, said Itsuo Toshima, market analyst at Toshima & Associates adding that he didn’t expect stocks traders to make sharp moves.

“The first attack was within expectations and was already priced in the market ... However, if there is a second round of strikes, that is not in line with expectations. So that should prompt a sharp risk-off move in markets,” he added.

Frank Benzimra, head of global markets for Asia Pacific at Societe Generale Corporate and Investment Banking, said stocks would plunge only in case of new strikes by Western powers.

In case of such an escalation, oil would rally further, the yen would spike and Japan’s domestic defensive stocks would outperform international stocks.

“For the stress on Asia equity markets to be sustainable, we would need to have oil prices spiking to such a level that fundamental concerns, i.e. higher inflation and risks on growth, return to the market,” he said.

Amrita Sen from Energy Aspects said that despite Middle Eastern tensions and looming new U.S. sanctions on Iran, oil has outperformed most expectations this year and may have rallied too far too fast.

“We are likely to get a sell-off this week as the extent of the Syrian strikes have been muted and, in general, calmer nerves prevail in Washington,” she said.

Oil traders had locked in long positions ahead of the weekend, in anticipation of potential strikes, sending both West Texas Intermediate CLc1 and global benchmark Brent LCOc1 crude futures to their highest since 2014.

Reporting by Vidya Ranganathan, Sujata Rao, Jan Harvey and Dmitry Zhdannikov; additional reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault; Writing by Dmitry Zhdannikov; editing by David Evans and Nick Zieminski

Tensions escalate: Trump hits back at Syria – ANZ

APRIL 15, 2018 4:53 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Geopolitical tensions escalated over the weekend after president Trump (in conjunction with the UK and France) followed through with his threat to hit back at Syria for its use of chemical weapons.

Key Quotes:

"While it might be the end of this particular response, Trump has indicated that the US is ready to continue in this fashion should Assad continue to use chemical weapons. Trump also called out Iran and Russia for their support of Assad, stating “the nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep”.

"Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is expected to announce fresh sanctions on Russia, which are said to be targeted at companies “dealing with equipment related to Assad and chemical weapons use”."

Allies against Syria, possible consequences for Sunday opening

APRIL 14, 2018 7:23 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Safe-havens set to gap higher at the weekly opening.

High-yielding assets to come under pressure, but EUR and GBP may not see large drops.

Late Friday in the US and well after financial markets closed, news indicated that the US, France, and the UK launched strikes on Syria, in response to the chemical attack to local civilians, allegedly made by President Bashar al-Assad. US President Trump announced the strike on targets "associated with the chemical weapon capabilities of Syrian dictator." Despite not participating in the event, Germany supported the attack as Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the strikes were "necessary and appropriate."

Russian answer was immediate to defend its ally, Syria, not only menacing with an armed response, but President Putin also said that this act will only exacerbate the humanitarian catastrophe in the country.

For the financial world, this means one thing: risk aversion. Investors have been on their toes amid political jitters fueling uncertainty, and this is just another trigger for such negative sentiment that will likely result in gaps across the different trading boards in favor of safe-havens and against high yielding assets.

Strength is particularly expected for the JPY and gold, while equities and European currencies could open lower. Given that this conflict Is focused on an oil-producer county may result in decreasing supply, meaning oil prices should rally through their recent highs. That could put the CAD on the run, but for the Aussie, an oil rally won't be enough, and would rather take clues from equities.

Finally, and with the dollar being the less attractive currency across the board and while the EUR and the GBP may come under pressure, no big fireworks are expected there.

Gold Trades to the Highest Price Since 2016

Gary Wagner Friday April 13, 2018 18:47

Gold futures (June 2018 Comex contract) gained $6.70 today and are currently trading at $1,348.60 per ounce. Gold closed higher on four of the five trading days this week, resulting in an $11 gain. This marks the second consecutive week of higher pricing for gold.

However, it is the high achieved this week that is the most significant event. On Wednesday, gold futures traded to an intraday high of $1,369.30. This price point is well above the three former highs that were achieved in September of last year and during the first quarter of this year.

This marks the fourth time since September 2017 that gold prices have broken above $1,350 per ounce. Prior to that, these rallies were unable to sustain a price point of even $1,300.

What makes Wednesday’s high so significant is the fact that you have to go back to August 2016 to find a time in which gold traded at this price level. The highs achieved during the 2016 rally took gold pricing just above $1,375 per ounce.

More importantly, the highs achieved during that rally were the first occurrence of a higher high since the multiyear correction began in the middle of 2011. It is for that reason that that price point is so significant now.

Since the end of 2016, gold has traded with a series of higher lows on multiple occasions. However, each rally following the conclusion of a correction was unable to trade to a higher high. Wednesday’s high at $1,369.30 was, in fact, the closest gold prices have come close to the former high.

It is the geopolitical events that have fueled this current rally and could ultimately take gold above the high achieved in 2016.

On a technical basis, that would confirm that the lows achieved at the end of 2015 were the absolute conclusion of the multiyear correction. That is why this week’s high is so significant.

Currently, gold is once again becoming a safe haven-asset reacting to the strong possibility that the United States will initiate a military response to the recent chemical weapon use in Syria.

The current crisis is much different from the response President Trump took after a chemical weapon attack by Syria last year. The Russians responded to a potential U.S. attack by warning that missiles fired into Syria would be shot down and their launch sites targeted. It is the last part of that statement that is so worrisome.

Obviously, a retaliatory strike by Russia targeting either U.S. carriers or airplanes could be catastrophic and devastating globally. It is for that reason that the United States is working with allies to create a unified plan for a military strike.

Whatever the outcome of this current crisis, I fear that it will get worse before it gets better, which would be bullish for gold. Addressing that fact, Daniela Cambone, Editor in Chief of Kitco News, made the most appropriate comment in her commentary today titled “Be Careful What You Wish For.”

Wishing you as always, good trading,

PRECIOUS-Gold on track for second weekly gain as Syria concerns linger

Reuters Friday April 13, 2018 05:56

* SPDR Gold holdings highest in 10 months

* Palladium set for biggest weekly rise since January 2017

* GRAPHIC-2018 asset returns: (Updates throughout, changes dateline from BENGALURU) By Zandi Shabalala LONDON, April 13 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Friday and were headed for their second weekly gain as investors sought safety from security tensions over Syria. U.S. President Donald Trump and his national security aides on Thursday discussed options on Syria, where he has threatened missile strikes in response to a suspected poison gas attack, as a Russian envoy voiced fears of wider conflict between Washington and Moscow. Trump, however, cast doubt over the timing of his threatened strike on Syria on Thursday, by tweeting that an attack on Syria "could be very soon or not so soon at all". "Donald Trump back-pedalled a bit in his morning tweet yesterday but the danger is still there that situation could escalate with Russia due to a military attack on Syria," said Quantitative Commodity Research consultant Peter Fertig. "We are back at a Cold War which easily could turn into a hot war if someone loses their nerve and in such a situation gold is a haven." Gold is often used as store of value in times of political and financial uncertainty. Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,340.79 an ounce as of 0930 GMT, and was set for a weekly gain of around half a percent. U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,343.70 an ounce. Global stocks were poised for their biggest weekly gain in over a month, as investors shrugged off tensions while the dollar slipped, boosting commodities. Easing concerns over the trade war between China and the United States also weighed on gold in the previous session. Trump said on Thursday that trade "negotiations" between Washington and Beijing were going well. Meanwhile, holdings of SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.69 percent to 865.89 tonnes on Thursday. Holdings rose to their highest since June 2017 and were up about 3.5 percent so far this year, suggesting an increase in investor appetite for the metal, seen as a safe investment during times of financial and political uncertainties.

In other precious metals, spot silver rose 0.7 percent to $16.54 per ounce, up over 1 percent so far this week. Platinum was 0.8 percent higher at $931.90 an ounce. For the week, the metal was set for more than a 1 percent rise, the most in about two months. Palladium climbed 1.3 percent at $976.10 an ounce and was on track for more than an 8 percent rise this week, its best since January 2017.

Gold below $1,340 as threat of US airstrike on Siyria diminishes

APRIL 12, 2018 2:33 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Gold retreats as there is no imminent threat of a US attack on Syria for now.

Hawkish FOMC minutes on Wednesday were negative for gold.

Gold continued on Thursday its reversal down started on Wednesday after it tested January’s highs at $1,375.70. It is currently trading back below the $1,340 level at around $1,336.40 down 1.23% on the day.

Sending gold higher on Wednesday was the imminent threat of an airstrike on Syria by the US. However, Trump, early Thursday said in a tweet that the strike was not that imminent.

“Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be very soon or not so soon at all! In any event, the United States, under my Administration, has done a great job of ridding the region of ISIS. Where is our “Thank you America?” Tweeted Trump.

The tensions in the Middle-East have been soaring since last Sunday when a suspected chemical attack took place in Syria, allegedly led by Bashar al-Assad, Syrian President.

On the macroeconomic front, the FOMC minutes on Wednesday where largely hawkish and higher interest rates are generally seen as a negative for gold which is a non-yielding asset.

“It would appear the central bank (Fed) has laid the groundwork for another rate hike in June, which would leave them six months to implement the third that is forecast and also leave room for a fourth if it’s deemed necessary by the data in the interim. That may be providing some relief for the greenback in the near-term but it’s really struggling to gather any upward momentum.” Commented Craig Erlam, a senior market analyst at Oanda.

Gold 4-hour chart

The short-term momentum is rather bearish. Resistance is seen at the $1,350 psychological figure and at $1,365.70 high made on Wednesday. Immediate support is the $1,335 level and then $1,326.60 swing low followed by $1,319.30 cyclical low.

Gold reverses a major part of previous session’s strong gains

APRIL 12, 2018 8:53 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

• A strong USD rebound prompts some aggressive selling.

• Improving risk-appetite adds to the downward pressure.

• Gains some respite from disappointing US weekly jobless claims.

Gold extended its steady decline through the mid-European session and retreated farther from YTD highs, retested in the previous session.

A strong US Dollar rebound, following the release of latest FOMC meeting minutes, prompted some aggressive selling during the NY trading on Wednesday. The greenback continued gaining positive traction on Thursday and kept exerting downward pressure on dollar-denominated commodities – like gold.

This coupled with growing bets for a faster Fed monetary policy tightening cycle and a modest uptick in the US Treasury bond yields further collaborated towards driving flows away from the non-yielding yellow metal.

Moreover, a slight improvement in investors' risk-appetite, as depicted by a minor rebound in equity markets, further weighed on the precious metal's safe-haven appeal and did little to stall the downfall back closer to $1340 level.

The selling pressure abated, at least for the time being, following the release of higher than expected US weekly jobless claims data. Moving ahead, the USD price dynamics/broader market risk sentiment might continue to act as key determinants of the commodity's movement through Thursday's trading session.

Technical levels to watch

Weakness below $1340 level is likely to get extended towards $1332 horizontal level before the commodity eventually drops to test $1326-25 support area. On the upside, any up-move might continue to confront strong resistance near the $1352-53 region, above which the commodity seems to aim back towards retesting $1365-66 supply zone.

Kevin O’Leary Is Wrong; Gold Miners Will Outperform – Frank Holmes

Apr 11, 2018

Contrary to Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, Frank Holmes, CEO of U.S. Global Investors, sees gold mining stocks outperforming the physical bullion.

“Our smart Beta GOAU [exchange-traded fund] is really a classic of showing you you have to get rid of those companies that are not creating value per share,” Holmes said. “The royalty companies have done well and those stocks that basically show better revenue per share, reserves per share, production per share, they far outperform.”

On gold prices, Holmes said that there are several fundamental factors behind the recent rally in the yellow metal and has little to do with President Donald Trump’s tweets on Wednesday about the possible military strikes in Syria.The CEO of U.S. Global Investors maintains his long-term $1,500 an ounce gold call.

Gold bugs need correction in stocks on geopolitical risk for break of weekly resistance

APRIL 11, 2018 1:23 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Gold: up to the weekly resistamce line and awaits a drop in stock prices.

Gold: bulls eye $1,433.00.70 on the wide as geopolitical risks spell war on the horizon.

Gold has spiked on the latest geopolitical concerns that have sent risk sour. Gold bugs are just waiting for the stock markets to fall out from a stubborn period of consolidation causing the US yields to remain relatively robust. Nevertheless, Gold has picked up a safe haven bid to a key technical level on the sounds of the drums of war as Russia and US relations start to break down. Gold is currently trading at $1,354/oz having made a high of $1,365.33/oz vs a low of $1,338.60/oz.

The Trump administration has been working to marshal international support for a possible military strike against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for an alleged chemical-weapons attack, a move that is rubbing the Russians up the wrong way who have warned and pleaded the US to refrain from military intervention or be prepared for retaliation.

"I would once again beseech you to refrain from the plans that you're currently developing," Moscow's UN envoy Vasily Nebenzia said on Tuesday.

He warned Washington that it will "bear responsibility" for any "illegal military adventure" it carries out.

President Donald Trump tweeted today that the relationship with Russia“is worse now than it has ever been, and that includes the Cold War":

Russia vows to shoot down any and all missiles fired at Syria. Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!

Risk-off play is on the rise with a big spike in gold and WTI is making fresh YTD highs. However, stocks are climbing, (lead by tech stocks), and that is making for higher US yields, (US 10yrs -0.32% but at 2.7936%, up from 2.7534% low and below 2.8027% high) for now.

Gold levels

Bulls eye a test of $1366 level (YTD high) with $1,433.00.70 as next key target, 17th Aug weekly highs. For the near term, the techncial indicators are showing tiring signals althoughthe daily indicators marry up with te move and RSI turns towrads the 70 mark. However, on the downside, the $1,349 area guards the $1340 support area. The 21-D SMA supports at $1,331.934 while the price of the yellow metal keeps above the ascending 21-W SMA at $1312 at least.

Gold Prices Hit 2-Week Highs as US-Russia Tensions Spark Safe-Haven Demand

APRIL 11, 2018 1:18 PM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Gold prices jumped to a more than two-week high as signs of rising U.S. inflation were overshadowed by an uptick in safe-haven demand amid growing U.S.-Russia tensions.

Gold futures for June delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose by $16.20, or 1.20%, to $1,362.10 a troy ounce, and remained close to session highs of $1,369.10.

Risk-off sentiment gripped markets on Wednesday after President Donald Trump threatened Russia, in a series of tweets, hinting at military action in Syria.

This comes after Trump, told reporters earlier this week, that he was preparing a response to reports of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria. “We have a lot of options, militarily. And we’ll be letting you know pretty soon,” Trump said.

Renewed demand for safe-haven buying comes as traders digested an uptick in inflation, which failed to provide a large enough bounce in the dollar to dent gold prices.

The core CPI rose 2.1% year-on-year in March, the largest since February 2017, improving on the 1.8% rise seen in February.

Dollar-denominated assets such as gold are sensitive to moves in the dollar – A fall in the dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of foreign currency, raising demand for the precious metal.

Investors were also awaiting the Federal Reserve’s March meeting minutes due 2.00 pm ET, for an insight into the Fed’s thinking on monetary policy.

In other precious metal trade, silver futures rose 1.35% to $16.79 a troy ounce, while platinum futures gained 0.30% to $935.90 an ounce.

Copper fell 0.80% to $3.11.

April 11, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

Jun E-mini S&Ps (ESM18 -1.03%) this morning are down -0.94% and European stocks are down -0.43% on concern about U.S. military escalation in Syria. President Trump spoke with UK Prime Minister May and French President Macron and cancelled a planned trip to South America as he intensifies preparations for a U.S. response to an alleged chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government on its own people. Russia warned that any U.S. missiles fired at Syria over a suspected chemicals weapons attack will be shot down and the launch sites targeted, raising the possibility of a U.S.-Russian confrontation. Also, Eurocontrol, an air traffic agency in Europe, asked airlines to apply caution on flights to the eastern Mediterranean region because of possible air strikes in Syria over the next 72 hours. Asian stocks settled mixed: Japan -0.49%, Hong Kong +0.55%, China +0.56%, Taiwan +0.43%, Australia -0.48%, Singapore +0.39%, South Korea -0.32%, India +0.18%.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.14%) is down -0.08% at a 2-week low. EUR/USD (^EURUSD+0.23%) is up +0.21% at a 2-week high. USD/JPY (^USDJPY -0.39%) is down -0.35% as the slide in stocks boosts the safe-haven demand for the yen.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 +0-075) are up +6 ticks.

China Mar CPI rose +2.1% y/y, weaker than expectations of +2.6% y/y. Mar PPI rose +3.1% y/y, weaker than expectations of +3.3% y/y and the slowest pace of increase in 17 months.

UK Feb manufacturing production unexpectedly fell -0.2% m/m, weaker than expectations of +0.2% m/m and the largest decline in 11 months. Feb industrial production rose +0.1% m/m, weaker than expectations of +0.4% m/m.

Japan Mar PPI rose +2.1% y/y, stronger than expectations of +2.0% y/y.

Japan Feb core machine orders rose +2.1% m/m and +2.4% y/y, stronger than expectations of -2.5% m/m and unch y/y.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) weekly MBA mortgage applications (previous -3.3% to 388.1, purchase sub-index -2.1% to 252.3, refi sub-index -4.9% to 1,130.1), (2) Mar CPI (expected unch m/m and +2.4% y/y, Feb +0.2% m/m and +2.2% y/y) and Mar CPI ex food & energy (expected +0.2% m/m and +2.1% y/y, Feb +0.2% m/m and +1.8% y/y), (3) EIA weekly Petroleum Status Report, (4) Treasury auctions $21 billion of 10-year T-notes, (5) Mar monthly budget statement (expected -$186.0 billion, Feb -$215.2 billion), (6) minutes of the Mar 20-21 FOMC meeting.

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: Fastenal (consensus $0.61), Bed Bath & Beyond (1.40).

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: Alzheon (ALZH), Zuora (ZUO).

Equity conferences this week: J.P. Morgan Retail Round-Up Conference on Wed.

Market Comments

June S&P 500 E-minis (ESM18 -1.03%) this morning are down sharply by -25.00 points (-0.94%). Tuesday's closes: S&P 500 +1.67%%, Dow Jones +1.79%, Nasdaq +2.22%. The S&P 500 on Tuesday closed higher on comments from Chinese President Xi Jinping that eased fears of a U.S.-Chinese trade war when he pledged a "new phase of opening up" Chinese markets. There was also strength in energy stocks after crude oil prices rose by +3.30% to a 2-week high. Stocks were undercut by the rise in the U.S. Mar core PPI to +2.7% y/y, stronger than expectations of +2.6% y/y, which bolsters the case for additional Fed rate hikes.

June 10-year T-notes (ZNM18 +0-075) this morning are up +6 ticks. Tuesday's closes: TYM8 -4.50, FVM8 -3.25. Jun 10-year T-notes on Tuesday closed lower on reduced safe-haven demand after soothing trade comments by Chinese President Xi Jinping sparked a sharp rally in stocks. T-notes were also undercut by the +2.7% y/y increase in U.S. Mar core PPI, higher than expectations of +2.6% y/y and the largest year-on-year increase in 6-1/3 years, which was hawkish for Fed monetary policy.

The dollar (DXY00 -0.14%) this morning is down -0.071 (-0.08%) at a 2-week low. EUR/USD (^EURUSD +0.23%) is up +0.0026 (+0.21%) at a 2-week high and USD/JPY (^USDJPY -0.39%) is down -0.37 (-0.35%). Tuesday's closes: Dollar Index -0.251 (-0.28%), EUR/USD +0.0035 (+0.28%), USD/JPY +0.43 (+0.40%). The dollar index on Tuesday fell to a 1-1/2 week low and closed lower. The dollar was undercut by the CBO's hike in its U.S. budget deficit estimate to -$804 billion for the fiscal year through Sep, up from a Jun estimate of -$563 billion, and the hike in its 2019 U.S. budget deficit estimate to -$981 billion from -$689 billion. There was also strength in EUR/USD which climbed to a 1-1/2 wee high on hawkish comments from ECB Governing Council member Nowotny who said "now is the time for a gradual normalization of monetary policy."

Metals prices this morning are mixed with Jun gold (GCM18 +0.59%) +5.5 (+0.41%), May silver (SIK18 +0.08%) -0.011 (-0.07%) and May copper (HGK18 -0.06%) -0.004 (-0.13%). Tuesday's closes: Jun gold +5.80 (+0.43%), May silver +0.067 (+0.41%), May copper +0.600 (+1.95%). Metals prices on Tuesday closed higher with May silver at a 1-week high and May copper at a 3-week high. Metals prices were boosted by the decline in the dollar index to a 1-1/2 week low and by reduced concerns about a U.S. and China trade war, which is positive for economic growth and industrial metals demand. Copper prices received a boost from the -2,650 MT decline in LME copper inventories to a 2-week low of 369,525 MT, a sign of tighter supplies.

May crude oil prices (CLK18 +1.08%) this morning are up +53 cents (+0.81%) at a fresh 2-week high and May gasoline (RBK18 unch) is -0.0026 (-0.13%). Tuesday's closes: May crude +2.09 (+3.30%), May gasoline +0.0567 (+2.86%). May crude oil and gasoline on Tuesday climbed to 2-week highs and closed higher. Crude oil prices were boosted by the slide in the dollar index to a 1-1/2 week low, an easing of U.S.-Chinese trade war concerns, and expectations for Wednesday's weekly EIA crude inventories to decline by -1.5 million bbl.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers


Fortinet (FTNT +3.23%) was downgraded to 'Equal-Weight' from 'Overweight' at Morgan Stanley.

Citigroup (C +1.54%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Hold' at HSBC with a price target of $85.

eBay (EBAY +1.83%) was upgraded to 'Overweight' from 'Sector-Weight' at KeyBanc Capital Markets with a price target of $50.

Synaptics (SYNA +4.59%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at Mizuho Securities USA with a price target of $55.

Imperva (IMPV +0.46%) was rated a new 'Buy' at D.A. Davidson with a price target of $56.

Compass Minerals International (CMP +0.32%) gained nearly 0.5% in after-hours trading after it reported it sold 4.3 million tons of highway deicing products in Q1, a +22% y/y increase.

Analogic (ALOG +1.16%) dropped over 11% in after-hours trading after it announced that it had agreed to be acquired by Altaris Capital Partners LLC for $84 a share in cash, well below Tuesday's closing price of $96.05 a share.

Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI +41.90%) rose 3% in after-hours trading, on top of Tuesday's 41% surge, after it reported encouraging results in a Phase 2 study of its EGFR Exon 20 Mutant non-small cell lung cancer.

Invitae (NVTA -1.54%) rose over 3% in after-hours trading after holder Baker Bros Advisors LP filed a 13G with the SEC, which signals ownership of more than 5% of the company's outstanding stock.

Purple Innovation (PRPL +3.53%) was rated a new 'Outperform' at Wedbush with a price target of $11.

Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises (BW +0.80%) plunged over 30% in after-hours trading after it cut guidance on its 2018 adjusted Ebitda to $20 million to $40 million from a projection of $75 million to $95 million in March.

Fearful Investors Are Creating A Rush On Gold ETFs

Anna Golubova Tuesday April 10, 2018

Investors are on a buying spree and their preferred choice in these uncertain times is gold ETFs.

The popularity of gold-backed exchange-traded funds is at its highest level since 2013, Bloomberg reported.

On Monday, the gold ETFs tracked by the financial media company were on the fourth day of straight gains, the longest green streak since January.

One of the shining examples is Frankfurt-listed Xetra-Gold —the third-largest commodity-linked ETF — that saw its outstanding shares approach 177 million as of Monday, the most since the fund began to trade in 2007.

The key drivers pushing investors to opt for gold ETFs are trade war fears as well as increased geopolitical risks surrounding Russia and the Middle East, according to analysts.

"In the past few days, neither central banks’ monetary policy nor other events had much of an impact on the markets. In fact, markets moved in line with the news and opinions surrounding the trade conflict between the US and China,” said analyst at Deutsche Bank AG Michael Blumenroth in a note published on Xetra-Gold’s website on Friday.

“We’ve seen volatility risk in the stock market, and geopolitical risk concerning the situation in Russia and the Middle East,” Blumenroth added. “People have become nervous in Germany so they were buying gold.”

Other impressive gains came from China’s Bosera Gold ETF, which already added $610.8 million this year, putting it on track to see its biggest returns since being listed in Shenzhen in 2014.

Also, the well-known iShares Gold Trust ETF has seen an addition of $1.49 billion in 2018 — the most out of all commodity-linked ETFs.

Gold prices, in the meantime, proved to be resilient in light of a stock market rally this week. June Comex gold futures were last at $1,345.40, down 0.04% on the day, while spot gold on Kitco.comwas last at $1,341.40, up 0.16% on the day.

Gold saw gains on Tuesday despite investor risk appetite returning to the market, said Kitco’s senior technical analyst Jim Wyckoff.

“Gold and silver bulls should consider their metals’ performance so far this week as pretty impressive, given little risk aversion in the marketplace, at present,” Wyckoff said in his PM Roundup.

By Anna Golubova

Shark Tank Star Favors Bullion Over Gold Miners

Apr 10, 2018

Kevin O'Leary

Investors are better off holding physical gold rather than mining stocks, according to Shark Tank star and chairman of O’Shares ETFs, Kevin O’Leary.

O’Leary said gold miners have had a track record of bad management and poor cost control that have led to underperformance relative to physical gold. The Shark Tank investor himself maintains 5% of his portfolio in physical gold, using a combination of bullion and SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD), the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund.

“The history of mining has been abysmal,” O’Leary told Kitco News on the sidelines of the “Three Sharks In A Castle” symposium. “The value of the commodity is whatever it is every day. I don’t need to have a manager in the middle screwing up his capital cost allowance, not controlling his costs.”


April 10, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

Jun E-mini S&Ps (ESM18 +1.08%) this morning are up sharply by +1.06% and European stocks are up +0.69% at a 3-week high as global stock markets rallied after comments from Chinese President Xi Jinping eased fears of a trade war between the U.S. and China. Xi pledged a "new phase of opening up" in his keynote address today to the Boao Forum for Asia and warned against returning to a "Cold War mentality" amid trade disputes. Xi pledged to increase imports, lower foreign-ownership limits on manufacturing and expand protection to intellectual property. Energy stocks are higher with May WTI crude oil (CLK18 +1.99%) up +1.20% to a 1-week high and mining stocks are stronger as well with May COMEX copper (HGK18 +1.41%) up +0.70% at a 3-week high. Asian stocks settled higher: Japan +0.54%, Hong Kong +1.65%, China +1.66%, Taiwan +0.31%, Australia +0.83%, Singapore +0.48%, South Korea +0.16%, India +0.27%. Conciliatory comments from Chinese President Xi Jinping fueled gains in Asian stocks as Japan's Nikkei Stock Index climbed to a 4-week high.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.05%) is unchanged. EUR/USD (^EURUSD +0.40%) is up +0.06% at a 1-week high on hawkish comments from ECB Governing Council member Nowotny who said now is the time for a gradual normalization of monetary policy." USD/JPY (^USDJPY +0.20%) is up +0.24% as the rally in global stocks curbs the safe-haven demand for the yen.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 -0-005) are down -2.5 ticks.

ECB Governing Council member Nowotny said "the Eurozone economy today clearly is in the middle of a strong and broad-based cyclical upswing" and "now is the time for a gradual normalization of monetary policy."

UK Mar BRC sales like-for-like unexpectedly rose +1.4% y/y, stronger than expectations of -0.3% y/y and the biggest increase in 6 months.

Japan Mar machine tool orders rose +28.1% y/y, the seventeenth consecutive month orders have gained.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan (non-voter) speaks in Beijing, (2) Mar PPI final demand (expected +0.1% and +2.9% y/y, Feb +0.2% m/m and +2.8% y/y) and Mar PPI ex food & energy (expected +0.2% and +2.6% y/y, Feb +0.2% m/m and +2.5% y/y), (3) Feb wholesale trade sales (Jan -1.1% m/m) and revised Feb wholesale inventories (expected +0.8%, prelim +1.1% m/m), (4) USDA Apr WASDE crop production, (5) Treasury auctions $30 billion of 3-year T-notes.

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: MSC Industrial Direct (consensus $1.32).

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.

Equity conferences this week: IPAA Oil & Gas Conference on Mon-Tue, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Software Summit on Tue, UBS Chicago Utility Mini Conference on Tue, ACAMS 23RD Annual International AML & Financial Crime Conference on Tue, J.P. Morgan Retail Round-Up Conference on Wed.

Market Comments

June S&P 500 E-minis (ESM18 +1.08%) this morning are up +27.75 points (+1.06%). Monday's closes: S&P 500 +0.33%%, Dow Jones +0.19%, Nasdaq +0.61%. The S&P 500 on Monday closed higher on reduced trade tensions after Larry Kudlow, President Trump's top economic adviser, said the U.S. and China are holding "back-channel discussions" to resolve their differences. There was also carry-over support from a rally in European stocks on upbeat comments from ECB President Draghi who said the ECB "expects the pace of economic expansion in the Eurozone to remain strong in 2018." Energy stocks saw support as crude oil prices rallied +2.19%.

June 10-year T-notes (ZNM18 -0-005) this morning are down -2.5 ticks. Monday's closes: TYM8 -3.5, FVM8 -2.5. Jun 10-year T-notes on Monday closed lower on reduced safe-haven demand after stocks moved higher and on supply pressures as the Treasury auctions $64 billion of T-notes and T-bonds this week.

The dollar this morning is little changed with the dollar index (DXY00 -0.05%) unch, EUR/USD (^EURUSD +0.40%) up +0.0007 (+0.06%) and USD/JPY (^USDJPY +0.20%) up +0.26 (+0.24%). Monday's closes: Dollar Index -0.270 (-0.30%), EUR/USD +0.0040 (+0.33%), USD/JPY -0.16 (-0.15%). The dollar index on Monday closed lower on strength in EUR/USD on upbeat comments from ECB President Draghi who said the ECB "expects the pace of economic expansion in the Eurozone to remain strong in 2018." There was also strength in GBP/USD which rallied to a 1-week high after UK Mar Halifax home prices rose a more-than-expected +1.5% m/m, the biggest increase in 7-months, which is hawkish for BOE monetary policy.

Metals prices this morning are mixed with Jun gold (GCM18 +0.04%) -1.1 (-0.08%), May silver (SIK18 -0.15%) -0.054 (-0.33%) and May copper (HGK18 +1.41%) +0.022 (+0.70%) at a 3-week high. Monday's closes: Jun gold +4.00 (+0.30%), May silver +0.151 (+0.89%), May copper +1.60 (+0.51%). Metals on Monday closed higher on a weaker dollar and on continued safe-haven demand for precious metals on the U.S. trade turmoil.

May crude oil prices (CLK18 +1.99%) this morning are up +76 cents (+1.20%) at a 1-week high and May gasoline (RBK18 +1.35%) is +0.0165 (+0.83%) at a 1-week high. Monday's closes: May crude +1.36 (+2.19%), May gasoline +0.0295 (+1.51%). May crude oil and gasoline on Monday closed higher on a weaker dollar and the rally in stocks, which shows confidence in the economic outlook that is positive for energy demand.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

Becton Dickinson (BDX +0.88%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at Citigroup with a price target of $251.

NVIDIA (NVDA +0.54%) gained nearly 2% in after-hours trading after it was raised to 'Overweight' from 'Equal-Weight' at Morgan Stanley with a price target of $238.

Goldman Sachs (GS +0.89%) may open higher this morning after it was recommended with an 'Outperform' rating at Bernstein with a price target of $300.

CME Group (CME +0.58%) was rated a new 'Outperform' at Bernstein with a price target of $190.

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE +0.38%) was rated a new 'Outperform' at Bernstein with a price target of $85.

Live Nation (LYV -1.14%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at Citigroup.

Etsy (ETSY -0.11%) may open higher this morning after it was rated a new 'Buy' at Loop Capital Markets with a price target of $32.

Seagate Technology (STX -0.58%) may open higher this morning after it was upgraded to 'Overweight' from 'Equal-Weight' at Morgan Stanley with a price target of $72.

United Airlines (UAL -0.16%) reported March consolidated traffic rose +6.5% and said it sees Q1 capacity increasing +3.6% and prasm rising +2.7%

Tupperware Brands (TUP -0.38%) fell almost 5% in after-hours trading after it said it sees preliminary Q1 adjusted EPS of 87 cents to 92 cents, weaker than a prior estimate of $1.01 to $1.06.

Energous (WATT +5.25%) surged almost 20% in after-hours trading after it said it received FCC certification for its 900 MHz WattUp Near Field transmitter.

EMCORE Corp (EMKR unch) tumbled more than 10% in after-hours trading after it reported Q2 preliminary revenue of $18 million to $19 million, lower than previous guidance of $21 million to $23 million, citing significant demand shortfall from one major customer.

Pingtan Marine Enterprises Ltd (PME +9.61%) rallied over 16% in after-hours trading after it increased its current production capacity as it said 27 fishing vessels are now approved to operate in international waters of the Indian Ocean.


April 9, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

Jun E-mini S&Ps (ESM18 +0.59%) this morning are up +0.53% and European stocks are up +0.35% as global stock markets rally on reduced trade concerns between China and the U.S. President Trump's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said Friday that the U.S. and China are holding "back-channel discussions" to resolve an escalating trade dispute and President Trump tweeted Sunday that "he and Chinese President Xi will always be friends, no matter what happens with our dispute on trade." The markets will look to Tuesday's speech by Chinese President Xi at the Boao forum for Asia for clues to China's response to solve the trade dispute with the U.S. Russia's benchmark MOEX Stock Index plunged nearly 7% today after the U.S. imposed new sanctions on Kremlin-connected billionaires and as tensions rose between the U.S. and Russia following the latest chemical attack in Syria. Asian stocks settled higher: Japan +0.51%, Hong Kong +1.29%, China +0.23%, Taiwan +0.67%, Australia +0.34%, Singapore +0.22%, South Korea +0.59%, India +0.48%.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.39%) is up +0.10%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD -0.03%) is down -0.08%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY +0.16%) is up +0.15%.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 -0-050) are down -4 ticks.

Chicago Fed President Evans aid the Fed should continue gradually raising interest rates if data on consumer prices indicate inflation will soon reach its 2% target. He added, "the headwinds that we were facing have turned into tailwinds, fiscal policy has been much more supportive of further growth, and so the need for more accommodative monetary policy is less than it was before."

Eurozone Apr Sentix investor confidence fell -4.4 to a 14-month low of 19.6, weaker than expectations of -3.2 to 20.8.

The German Feb trade balance was in surplus by +18.4 billion euros, narrower than expectations of +20.1 billion euros. Feb exports unexpectedly fell -3.2% m/m, weaker than expectations of +0.4% m/m and the biggest decline in 2-1/3 years. Feb imports fell -1.3%, weaker than expectations of +0.5% and the biggest decline in 8 months.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) USDA weekly grain export inspections, (2) USDA weekly Crop Progress.

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: none.

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.

Equity conferences this week: Mizuho Energy Summit on Mon, IPAA Oil & Gas Conference on Mon-Tue, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Software Summit on Tue, UBS Chicago Utility Mini Conference on Tue, ACAMS 23RD Annual International AML & Financial Crime Conference on Tue, J.P. Morgan Retail Round-Up Conference on Wed.

Market Comments

June S&P 500 E-minis (ESM18 +0.59%) this morning are up +13.75 points (+0.53%). Friday's closes: S&P 500 -2.19%%, Dow Jones -2.34%, Nasdaq -2.45%. The S&P 500 on Friday closed sharply lower after President Trump late Thursday announced that he is considering tariffs on another $100 billion of Chinese products. Stocks were also undercut by the weak March payroll report of +103,000 and the net -50,000 downward revision to Jan-Feb payrolls.

June 10-year T-notes (ZNM18 -0-050) this morning are down -4 ticks. Friday's closes: TYM8 +14.5, FVM8 +8. Jun 10-year T-notes on Friday closed with solid gains due to the fresh trade turmoil and the sharp sell-off in the U.S. stock market. T-notes were also boosted by the weak March payroll report of +103,000 and the -50,000 net downward revision in Jan-Feb payrolls. T-note prices were undercut after Fed Chair Powell in a speech on Friday called for a continued slow rise in interest rates and said that it is too early to consider any impact from tariffs.

The dollar this morning is higher with the dollar index (DXY00 -0.39%) up +0.094 (+0.10%), EUR/USD (^EURUSD -0.03%) down -0.0010 (-0.08%) and USD/JPY (^USDJPY +0.16%) up +0.16 (+0.15%). Friday's closes: Dollar Index -0.352 (-0.39%), EUR/USD +0.0041 (+0.33%), USD/JPY -0.46 (-0.43%). The dollar index on Friday fell back from Thursday's 5-week high and closed moderately lower on renewed U.S. trade turmoil and the sharp sell-off in U.S. stocks. The dollar was also undercut by the weak U.S. payroll report and the decline in the U.S. T-note yield, which undercut the dollar's interest rate differentials.

Metals prices this morning are mixed with Jun gold (GCM18 -0.30%) -4.6 (-0.34%), May silver (SIK18 -0.23%) -0.057 (-0.35%) and May copper (HGK18 +0.20%) +0.005 (+0.16%). Friday's closes: Jun gold +7.60 (+0.57%), May silver +0.007 (+0.04%), May copper -1.60 (-0.52%). Metals on Friday closed mixed. Gold prices were boosted by safe-haven demand after President Trump's threat for tariffs on another $100 billion of Chinese goods caused a sharp sell-off in stocks. Copper prices fell on the diminished economic outlook caused by the fresh trade turmoil.

May crude oil prices (CLK18 +0.82%) this morning are up +16 cents (+0.26%) and May gasoline (RBK18 +0.58%) is +0.0022 (+0.11%). Friday's closes: May crude -1.48 (-2.33%), May gasoline -0.0269 (-1.36%). May crude oil and gasoline on Friday closed sharply lower on President Trump's new Chinese tariff threat, which could cause China to retaliate by slapping tariffs on U.S. crude oil and LNG exports. Crude oil prices also saw carry-over pressure from Wednesday's EIA report showing that U.S. oil production rose by +0.3% w/w to a new record high. Friday's Baker Hughes report was bearish since it showed that the number of active oil rigs jumped by 11 rigs to a 3-year high of 808 rigs.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

General Motors (GM -0.84%) is up over 2% in pre-market trading after it was upgraded to 'Overweight' from 'Equal-Weight' at Morgan Stanley with a price target of $48.

Agilent (A -3.09%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at Goldman Sachs.

TD Ameritrade Holding Co (AMTD -2.69%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch with a price target of $66.

Discover Financial Services (DFS -2.48%) was upgraded to 'Equal-Weight' from 'Underweight' at Stephens with a price target of $73.

Franklin Resources (BEN -2.44%) was downgraded to 'Neutral' from 'Buy' at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.

Regeneron (REGN -2.73%) was downgraded to 'Market Perform' from 'Outperform' at Raymond James.

Boeing (BA -3.06%) received a $12.3 billion deal for 47 dreamliners from American Airlines.

InteractiveCorp (IAC -2.04%), Barry Diller's media company, is trading at a discount, according to a weekend article by Barrons.

Smartphone chipmakers such as Skyworks Solutions (SWKS -3.28%), Qorvo (QRVO -2.37%), Qualcomm (QCOM -3.49% and Synaptics (SYNA -3.72%) will struggle this year due to weak phone sales, according to a weekend article by Barrons. However, the article spoke favorably about phone screen maker Universal Display (OLED -2.99%) due to its favorable valuation after this year's 43% drop.

China Internet (CIFS -8.61%) rallied 2% on some short-covering in after-hours trading, trimming Friday's regular-session 8.6% drop on a Muddy Waters tweet that the noted short-seller remains short.

Cesca Therapeutics (KOOL -0.60%) fell 7% in after-hours trading after news the company filed to offer up to $20 million worth of shares.


April 6, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

June S&P 500 E-minis (ESM18 -0.98%) this morning are down -0.9% after President Trump late Thursday told U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer to consider whether to add tariffs on another $100 billion worth of Chinese goods as punishment for China on Wednesday announcing reciprocal tariffs on $50 billion of U.S. goods. China early Friday responded with a statement saying, "The Chinese side will follow suit to the end and at any cost, and will firmly attack, using new countermeasures, to firmly defend the interest of the nation and its people."

The problem for China is that tariffs on $150 billion of U.S. imports would max out its capability to levy tariffs since China has only ever annually imported more than $150 billion of U.S. goods twice. The U.S., by contrast, can ramp its levies up to the full amount of the $500 billion of Chinese products that the U.S. imported last year. However, China could use other means of retaliation such as clamping down on U.S. businesses that produce and sell goods within China and shutting down outbound Chinese tourism to the U.S. There is also the perennial threat that China owns some $1.3 trillion of U.S. government securities that it could dump on the market and cause an upward spike in U.S. interest rates.

The Euro Stoxx 50 index is down by -0.6%, showing a smaller decline than U.S. S&P E-minis. Asian stocks largely took President Trump's $100 billion threat in stride. Japan's Nikkei index closed only -0.4% lower today and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed up +1.11%. The Chinese mainland stock markets were closed again on Friday for a national holiday and haven't traded since China after Wednesday's close announced its tariff retaliation on $50 billion of U.S. goods. Other Asian stock markets today closed mixed: Australian S&P 200 unchanged, Singapore Str. Times +1.08%, South Korea KOSPI 200 -0.46%, India BSE Sensex 30 +0.09%, and Turkey ISE National 100 -0.13%.

The forex markets are showing little reaction to President Trump's new $100 billion tariff threat. The dollar index (DXY00 +0.03%) and EUR/USD (^EURUSD -0.06%) this morning are little changed. EUR showed little reaction to this morning's weak European economic data that included a -1.6% m/m decline in the German Feb industrial production report and a -2.2 point decline to 50.1 in the March Markit Eurozone retail PMI. USD/JPY (^USDJPY -0.03%) is slightly lower by -0.07 (-0.07%). June 10-year T-notes (ZNM18 +0-025) are up by only 2 ticks.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) Mar non-farm payrolls (expected +185,000, Feb +313,000) and Mar unemployment rate (expected -0.1 to 4.0%, Feb unch at 4.1%), (2) Mar avg hourly earnings (expected +0.3% m/m and +2.7% y/y, Feb +0.1% m/m and +2.6% y/y), (3) Fed Chair Jerome Powell delivers speech on the economic outlook during a visit to Chicago, (4) Feb consumer credit (expected +$15.5 billion, Jan +$13.906 billion).

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: none.

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.

Equity conferences this week: none.

Market Comments

June S&P 500 E-minis this morning are down -0.9% on President Trump's threat to levy tariffs on another $100 billion of Chinese goods. Thursday's closes: S&P 500 +0.69%, Dow Jones +0.99%, Nasdaq +0.53%. The S&P 500 on Thursday closed moderately higher on attempts by various Trump administration officials to soothe the markets by saying that the U.S. intends to negotiate with China on the tariffs and noting that there is a 2-month public comment period. U.S. stocks were also helped by the ability of most overseas stock markets to show sharp recoveries. The widening of the Feb U.S. trade deficit was a negative for Q1 GDP growth.

June 10-year T-notes are up by only 2 ticks. Thursday's closes: TYM8 -8.5, FVM8 -5. Jun 10-year T-notes on Thursday closed moderately lower on the upward rebound in stocks, the +3 bp rise in expectations for Fed tightening through end-2019 on a calmer trade situation, and a +2 bp rise in the 10-year breakeven inflation expectations rate.

The forex markets are showing little reaction to President Trump's new $100 billion tariff threat. The dollar index and EUR/USD this morning are little changed. Thursday's closes: Dollar Index +0.318 (+0.35%), EUR/USD -0.0038 (-0.31%), USD/JPY +0.57 (+0.61%). The dollar index on Thursday broke out to a 5-week high and closed moderately higher on reduced trade tensions and on the +3 bp rise in the 10-year T-note yield to 2.83%, which improved the dollar's interest rate differentials. The dollar was undercut by the widening of the U.S. trade deficit to a 9-year high.

Gold this morning is not seeing any safe-haven buying and is down by -1.1 (-0.08%). May silver is down -0.095 (-0.58%) and May copper is down -0.040 (-1.30%). Thursday's closes: Jun gold -11.70 (-0.87%), May silver +0.101 (+0.62%), May copper +6.40 (+2.13%). Metals on Thursday closed mixed. Gold prices were undercut by reduced trade tensions, while copper rallied on hopes for a negotiated solution.

May crude oil this morning is down -0.42 (-0.66%) and May gasoline is down -0.0112 (-0.57%). Thursday's closes: May crude +0.17 (+0.27%), May gasoline +0.0048 (+0.24%). May crude oil and gasoline on Thursday closed higher on reduced trade tensions and on carry-over support from Wednesday's EIA report showing a -4.6 mln bbl drop in U.S. oil inventories, which left inventories -2.6% below the 5-year seasonal average, the tightest level in 9-1/2 years. Crude oil prices were undercut by carry-over weakness from Wednesday's EIA report showing that U.S. oil production in the latest week rose by +0.3% w/w to a new record high of 10.460 mln bpd.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

Wynn Resorts (WYNN +0.92%) is up +2% in pre-market trading after MGM Resorts reportedly expressed an interest in Wynn Resorts.

Tesla (TSLA +6.54%) is down -2% in pre-market trading after news that a fire on Tuesday briefly suspended production.

Incyte (INCY -1.08%) plunged -20% in pre-market trading after news that its cancer-drug epacadostat study failed to meet its endpoint.

Xilinx (XLNX -0.62%) is down -3% in pre-market trading after a downgrade to Underweight at JPMorgan.

Palatin Technologies (PTN +1.69%) is up +7% in pre-market trading after receiving a new Buy rating at HC Wainwright.

Sunrun (RUN +1.22%) is down 6% in pre-market trading after a downgrade to Underperform from BofAML.

WD-40 (WDFC +1.53%) fell -2% in after-hours trading on news that the company's gross margin is seeing some pressure.

Codexis (CDXS -0.93%) fell -5% in after-hours trading after reporting preliminary Q3 net sales of $181 million, below the consensus of $188 million.

Gain Capital (GCAP +1.16%) rallied 5% in after-hours trading on news it expanded its cryptocurrency offerings.

Gold Prices Slide as Safe Haven Demand Fizzles

APRIL 5, 2018 10:50 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Gold prices fell on Thursday as risk appetite recovered amid investor bets that recent tariff announcements by the U.S. and China are negotiating tactics and the countries will ultimately reach a compromise.

Gold futures for June delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange were last down by $13.10, or around 1%, to $1,327.20 a troy ounce at 10:46AM ET (14:46GMT).

Prices of the precious metal had rallied to a one-week high on Wednesday after China announced a fresh wave of tariffs on U.S. imports, in retaliation to a Trump administration plan to impose tariffs on Chinese products.

Worries that protectionist trade policies might result in a full blown trade war boosted safe haven demand for gold, amid fears over the impact on the global economy and U.S. growth.

But trade tensions eased after President Donald Trump’s chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow said late Wednesday that proposed tariffs on China may not actually take effect and added that there is not a trade war between the U.S. and China.

Market sentiment was also helped by hopes that the U.S. could reach a deal with Canada and Mexico over the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The decrease in trade tensions lowered demand for the safe haven asset which is usually sought out as a store of value during times of political or economic uncertainty.

Also weighing on gold prices, the dollar rebounded on Thursday as worries cooled off. A stronger greenback makes the dollar-denominated metal more expensive for holders of other currencies.

At 10:39AM ET (14:39GMT), the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was last down 0.21% to 89.66.

The greenback saw little movement after mixed data out of the weekly jobless claims’ data. Although new applications for U.S. unemployment benefits increased more than expected last week, the total number of Americans in unemployment fell to its lowest level since 1973.

Investors were turning their attention to the more comprehensive official government report that will be released on Friday. Economists expect the creation of 190,000 nonfarm payrolls.

Signs of increasing wage growth in that report could underline the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at a faster pace.

Furthermore, Fed chairman Jerome Powell will have an opportunity to comment on the employment report in an appearance scheduled after the release on Friday, which could determine the direction of the U.S. currency.

Expectations of rising rates tend to boost the dollar by making the currency more attractive to yield-seeking investors. At the same time, gold suffers due to not only the weaker greenback but tends to be less attractive as a non-yield bearing asset with rates on the rise.

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver gained 0.10% to $16.270 a troy ounce by 10:48AM ET (14:48GMT), platinum dropped 0.38% at $914.60 a troy ounce, palladium traded down 1.29% to $906.10 a troy ounce, while copper jumped 1.71% to $3.063 a pound.

Gold extends slide, eyes last week lows

APRIL 5, 2018 11:43 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Positive mood on markets weigh on gold.

Stronger US dollar also pushed the yellow metal lower.

After a brief period of stabilization, gold prices resumed the decline. It printed a fresh low at $1,322.60/oz after the beginning of the US session. It was holding near the lows, under pressure.

Gold is back near last week lows. Yesterday’s rally that followed the announcement of Chinese authorities to impose tariffs on 106 US products, gold rallied. But those gains were short-lived. The recovery in equity markets that start after US officials mentioned their desire for communication eased concerns about a full-blown trade war. The yellow metal reversed sharply. From yesterday’s highs it has fallen $25.

Today the positive tone in US stocks remains high. The DOW JONES was up 1.38% and the NASDAQ 0.85%. The sentiment affected gold that is also being hit by a stronger greenback. DXY Futures rose back above 90.00, to the highest in almost a month.

Levels to watch

XAU/USD moved closer to last week lows, located slightly above $1,320. A break lower could clear the way for $1,314 and under that level the next key support might be seen at $1,307. If price manages to hold on top of $1,320 it could recover some ground. Immediate resistance might lie at $1,331 followed by $1,339 and $1,345 (Apr 2 high).


April 5, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

June S&P 500 E-minis (ESM18 +0.45%) are trading mildly higher by +0.4% this morning on reduced trade-war anxiety and carry-over support from sharp rallies in overseas stocks. The Euro Stoxx 50 index is up +1.8%. The Chinese stock markets are closed today and tomorrow for a national holiday. However, other Asian stock markets today closed sharply higher: Japan Nikkei +1.53%, Australia S&P 200 +0.48%, Singapore Str. Times +1.97%, South Korea KOSPI 200 +1.46%, India BSE Sensex 30 +1.75%, Turkey ISE National 100 +0.71%.

The markets so far today are calmer on the U.S.-Chinese trade war front as hopes rise for a negotiated solution. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow spent most of Wednesday trying to calm market nerves by saying that the two sides will negotiate and that the tariffs are only a proposal so far. For its part, China on Wednesday only announced the tariffs and said they would only become effective if and when U.S. tariffs become effective.

The dollar index (DXY00 +0.17%) this morning is slightly higher by +0.05 (+0.06%) while EUR/USD (^EURUSD -0.14%) is unchanged. USD/JPY (^USDJPY +0.25%) is up +0.21 (+0.20%) on reduced safe-haven demand for the yen. June 10-year T-notes (ZNM18 -0-070) are down 7 ticks on reduced safe-haven demand in the calmer risk environment seen so far today.

Commodities overall this morning are up +0.14%. May WTI crude oil this morning is mildly lower by -0.20 (-0.32%) and May gasoline is down -0.0090 (-0.48%). Metals prices this morning are mixed with June gold down -7.4 (-0.55%) on the reduced risk environment, while May silver is slightly higher by +0.16 (+0.10%) and May copper is up +0.045 (+1.49%). Grains this morning are higher on reduced trade tensions and hopes for a negotiated solution with May corn up +1.50 (+0.39%), May soybeans up +4.75 (+0.47%), and May wheat up +4.25 (+0.93%). Softs are mostly higher this morning: May sugar +0.02 (+0.16%), May coffee +0.35 (+0.30%), May cocoa -13 (-0.53%), and May cotton +1.01 (+1.27%).

India's central bank today left its benchmark rate unchanged at 6%, which was in line with unanimous market expectations. The RBI left its benchmark rate unchanged despite mildly higher inflation of +4.4% (above the RBI's 4.0% target) since the economy is expected to slow to a 4-year low in 2018. However, the market is pricing in at least one rate hike for later this year since inflation is expected to pick up over the next few months. India's stock market rallied today as investors were buoyed by a less hawkish tone from the RBI and its move to reduce its inflation forecast and raise its GDP growth estimate for the new fiscal year that began in April.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) Mar Challenger job cuts (Feb -4.3% y/y), (2) weekly initial unemployment claims (expected +10,000 to 225,000, previous -12,000 to 215,000) and continuing claims (expected -28,000 to 1.843 million, previous +35,000 to 1.871 million), (3) Feb trade deficit (expected -$56.8 billion, Jan -$56.6 billion), (4) USDA weekly Export Sales, (5) Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic (voter) speaks on financial literacy at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: Monsanto (consensus $3.29), RPM Intl (0.17), Lamb Weston (0.77).

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.

Equity conferences this week: none.

Market Comments

June S&P 500 E-minis are trading mildly higher by +0.4% this morning on reduced trade-war anxiety and carry-over support from sharp rallies in overseas stocks. Wednesday's closes: S&P 500 +1.16%, Dow Jones +0.96%, Nasdaq +1.57%. The S&P 500 on Wednesday closed sharply higher. U.S. stocks started Wednesday sharply lower after China surprised the markets by quickly announcing equal-sized retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products in response to the Trump administration's announcement late Tuesday of its list of $50 billion worth of Chinese products subject to tariffs. However, U.S. stocks were able to recover sharply during the day after Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow did their best to reassure the markets that there will be negotiations and that the tariffs were only a proposal at this point. U.S. stocks also found support on the stronger-than-expected ADP report of +241,000 versus expectations of +210,000.

June 10-year T-notes are down 7 ticks on reduced safe-haven demand in the calmer risk environment seen so far today. Wednesday's closes: TYM8 -0.5, FVM8 -0.25. Jun 10-year T-notes on Wednesday closed slightly lower on the upward rebound in stocks and the stronger-than-expected ADP report of +241,000. T-notes found some support as another Fed official admitted that the U.S.-China tariff war is a material uncertainty for the economy.

The dollar index this morning is slightly higher by +0.05 (+0.06%) while EUR/USD is unchanged. USD/JPY is up +0.21 (+0.20%) on reduced safe-haven demand for the yen. Wednesday's closes: Dollar Index -0.058 (-0.06%), EUR/USD +0.0008 (+0.07%), USD/JPY +0.17 (+0.16%). The dollar index on Wednesday closed slightly lower on U.S. trade tensions as China quickly announced retaliatory tariffs. The dollar found some support, however, on the stronger-than-expected U.S. ADP report of +241,000. USD/JPY closed +0.16% higher as the safe-haven demand for the yen faded with the upward rebound in stocks.

Metals prices this morning are mixed with June gold down -7.4 (-0.55%) on the reduced risk environment, while May silver is slightly higher by +0.16 (+0.10%) and May copper is up +0.045 (+1.49%). Wednesday's closes: Jun gold +2.90 (+0.22%), May silver -0.138 (-0.84%), May copper -5.30 (-1.73%). Metals on Wednesday closed mixed. China's tariff announcement was bullish for gold but undercut silver and copper due to economic uncertainty that could hurt industrial metals demand.

May WTI crude oil this morning is mildly lower by -0.20 (-0.32%) and May gasoline is down -0.0090 (-0.48%). Wednesday's closes: May crude -0.14 (-0.22%), May gasoline +0.0027 (+0.14%). May crude oil and gasoline on Wednesday closed mixed. Crude oil prices traded sharply lower early in the session on the steep early stock market sell-off caused by the Chinese tariff announcement. However, crude oil prices were then able to partially recover as the stock market rallied and after the release of the bullish EIA report, which showed that U.S. oil inventories fell sharply by -4.6 mln bbls (vs expectations of +2.0 mln bbls). Crude oil prices were undercut, however, by news in the EIA report that U.S. oil production rose by +0.3% w/w to a new record high of 10.460 mln bpd.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

Facebook (FB -0.65%) is up 3% in pre-market trading after CEO Zuckerberg late Wednesday held a conference call to try to sooth investors and the public. A Deutschebank analyst says the worst is likely behind Facebook. Zuckerberg is expected to testify before a Congressional committee next week.

Spotify (SPOT -3.21%) is up 3% in pre-market trading after Stifel and Canaccord opened coverage with Buy ratings. Stifel sees "long runway for user growth." Spotify on Wednesday closed -3.21% after Tuesday's advance of +12.89%.

Finisar (FNSR +0.20%) is up 6% after an upgrade to Overweight by Morgan Stanley.

Marvell Tech (MRVL +1.86%) rallied 4% in after-hours trading after being rated as a new Buy at UBS with a price target of $38.

Delta (DAL +0.26%) said that some of its customer data may have been accessed

AMD (AMD +2.30%) is up 3% in pre-market trading after an upgrade to Buy at Stifel

Ollie's Bargain (OLLI +2.46%) was down 4% in after-hours trading after its fiscal-year adjusted EPS guidance was missed the consensus.

Gold Price Pare Gains as Dollar Steadies

APRIL 4, 2018 1:57 PM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Gold prices eased from sessions highs as the dollar pared some of its losses after trade war fears receded slightly.

Gold futures for June delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose by $2.30, or 0.18%, to $1,339.80 a troy ounce.

Gold eased from a session high of $1,352.30 as trade war fears receded somewhat after traders questioned whether the recent tariffs announced by the U.S. and China were part of negotiation tactic.

Mizuho said Wednesday the US Treasury Department’s decision to extend the initial 30-day consultation period to 60 days was a sign that the “U.S. side has already left room for negotiation.”

China announced tariffs on 106 U.S. products after the Trump administration on Tuesday provided details on the $50 billion of Chinese goods that could be subject to 25% duties unless China makes trade and investment concessions.

Dovish comments from St. Louis Fed President James Bullard on Wednesday, drew a somewhat muted reaction in gold prices despite the Fed policymaker’s attempts to dampen investor expectations for further rate hikes.

“It is not necessary in this circumstance to raise the policy rate further in order to put downward pressure on inflation, since inflation is already below target,” Bullard said.

In a rising interest rate environment, investor appetite for gold weakens as the opportunity cost of holding the precious metal increases relative to interest-bearing assets such as bonds.

In other precious metal trade, silver futures fell 0.68% to $16.28 a troy ounce, while platinum futures fell 1.13% to $920.80 an ounce.

Copper fell 1.75% to $3.06.

Will Trump's Tariffs Affect Gold? - Peter Hug

Apr 04, 2018

Peter Hug Global Trading Director, Kitco Metals

Investors no longer believe that President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs will be detrimental to markets, this according to Peter Hug, Director of Global Trading at Kitco Metals.“The market has basically reversed about 50% of the gains [in gold] since that announcement on the Chinese tariffs, [investors] believe that Trump’s bark is worse than his bite, and they don’t think it’s as serious,” Hug told Kitco News. “Got a rebound in stock markets and people took profits in gold.”Hug added that in this “difficult” market, investors should hold a percentage allocation in gold to hedge against the myriad of risks.What concerns Hug more is the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), which has steadily risen over the last three months.“If that starts to choke off credit facilities at the retail level, that could create a problem,” he said.

April 4, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

June S&P 500 E-minis (ESM18 -1.43%) this morning are sharply lower as China overnight very quickly retaliated to the Trump administration's announcement late Tuesday of the list of $50 billion worth of Chinese products subject to tariffs for IP violations. The Euro Stoxx 50 index this morning is down -1.27%.

China's retaliation was announced after some of the Far East Asian stock markets had already closed, which means that some of the Asian stock market closes do not reflect the news. The announcement was made about 20 minutes before the Hong Kong stock market closed, accounting for today's plunge in the Hang Seng index by -2.19%. Other Asian closes: Japan Nikkei index +0.13%, China Shanghai -0.18%, Australian S&P 200 +0.16%, Singapore -2.12%, South Korea KOSPI 200 -1.54%, India -1.05%, Turkey -1.05%.

China early Wednesday very quickly announced the list of 106 U.S. products worth about $50 billion that will be subject to an additional 25% tariff in retaliation for the U.S. tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. The list of U.S. products subject to the new tariff includes soybeans, automobiles, chemicals, and aircraft. Other U.S. ag products subject to the tariff include wheat, corn, cotton, sorghum, tobacco, and beef. The U.S. sold about $14 billion worth of soybeans to China last year accounting for about one-third of the entire U.S. soybean crop.

Boeing's stock is sharply lower by -7% in overnight trading since the tariffs will apply to at least some Boeing jets. About one quarter of Boeing's aircraft sales deliveries last year were to China. Boeing's sharp drop accounts for the larger drop in Dow futures prices this morning versus S&P 500 futurs.

China said the implementation date for the tariffs will depend on when the U.S. levies its tariffs. The U.S. process is that there will be about a 60-day public comment period and then the U.S. Trade Representative has up to 6 months to decide on the final tariffs. Written public comments can be submitted until May 11 and a public hearing has been scheduled for May 15. That means there is still time for the two sides to negotiate to see if there is a compromise that could avert the tariffs.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.12%) this morning is slightly lower by -0.102 (-0.11%) while EUR/USD (^EURUSD +0.07%) is up +0.0022 (+0.18%). USD/JPY (^USDJPY -0.35%) is down -0.46 (-0.43%) due to safe-haven buying of the yen. June 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 +0-075) are up +8.5 ticks on safe-haven demand with the turmoil in stocks and on uncertainty about the impact of the tariffs on the U.S. economy and Fed policy.

May WTI crude oil this morning is down -1.21 (-1.91%) and May gasoline is down -0.0238 (-1.21%). Precious metals prices are higher this morning on safe-haven buying with June gold up +9.8 (+0.73%) and May silver up +0.033 (+0.20%). However, May copper is sharply lower by -0.071 (-2.30%).

In the ag markets, May corn is down -13.50 (-3.47%), May soybeans are down -44.25 (-4.26%), and May wheat is down -7.25 (-1.58%). Livestock futures have yet to open. Softs are lower with morning with May sugar down -0.11 (-0.88%), May coffee down -0.10 (-0.09%), May cocoa down -26 (-1.04%), and May cotton down -2.05 (-2.50%).

China was forced into a big $9.7 billion bailout of Anbang Insurance Group to save the company from insolvency after the government recently accused Anbang's former Chairman Wu Xiaohui with fraud for financing the company with unauthorized investment-type policies.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) weekly MBA mortgage applications (previous +4.8% with purchase sub-index +3.1% and refi sub index +7.3%), (2) Mar ADP employment (expected +210,000, Feb +235,000), (3) St. Louis Fed President James Bullard (non-voter) speaks on the economy and monetary policy to the Arkansas Bankers Association, (4) final-Mar Markit U.S. services PMI (expected +0.1 to 54.2, prelim-Mar -1.8 to 54.1), (5) Mar ISM non-manufacturing PMI (expected -0.5 to 59.0, Feb -0.4 to 59.5), (6) Feb factory orders (expected +1.7%, Jan -1.4% and +0.4% ex transportation), (7) EIA weekly Petroleum Status Report, (8) Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester (voter) speaks on diversity in economics at Central State University in Wilberforce, OH.

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: Lennar (consensus $0.80), CarMax (0.87), Acuity Brands (2.09).

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.

Equity conferences this week: none.

Market Comments

June S&P 500 E-minis (ESM18 -1.43%) this morning are sharply lower by -1.7% after China quickly retaliated to the Trump administration's latest round of tariffs. Tuesday's closes: S&P 500 +1.26%, Dow Jones +1.65%, Nasdaq +1.06%. The S&P 500 on Tuesday closed sharply higher on some optimism that Asian and European stocks on Tuesday saw only minor losses compared with Monday's plunge in the U.S. stock market. There were also slightly reduced trade concerns after USTR Lighthizer said the administration has a long-term trade strategy. Automakers saw strength after reporting positive sales results.

June 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 +0-075) are up +8.5 ticks on safe-haven demand with the turmoil in stocks and on uncertainty about the impact of the tariffs on the U.S. economy and Fed policy. Tuesday's closes: TYM8 -13.5, FVM8 -8.5. Jun 10-year T-notes on Tuesday closed with fairly sharp losses on the upward rebound in stocks, which reduced safe-haven demand for T-notes. T-note prices were also undercut by the +3 bp rise to 2.09% in the 10-year breakeven inflation expectations rate due in part to the +0.79% rally in May crude oil.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.12%) this morning is slightly lower by -0.102 (-0.11%) while EUR/USD (^EURUSD +0.07%) is up +0.0022 (+0.18%). USD/JPY is down -0.46 (-0.43%) due to safe-haven buying of the yen. Tuesday's closes: Dollar Index +0.148 (+0.16%), EUR/USD -0.0032 (-0.26%), USD/JPY +0.72 (+0.68%). The dollar index on Tuesday closed mildly higher on reduced trade tensions and the upward rebound in U.S. stocks, which attracted some capital back to the U.S. The dollar was also boosted by the improvement in U.S. interest rate differentials with the fairly large rise in T-note yields. There was a solid +0.72% rally in USD/JPY on reduced safe-have demand for the yen due to the upward rebound in U.S. stocks.

Precious metals prices are higher this morning on safe-haven buying with June gold up +9.8 (+0.73%) and May silver up +0.033 (+0.20%). However, May copper is sharply lower by -0.071 (-2.30%). Tuesday's closes: Jun gold -9.60 (-0.71%), May silver -0.280 (-1.68%), May copper +1.35 (+0.44%). Metals on Tuesday settled mixed. Precious metals prices fell on reduced safe-haven demand caused by the rally in stocks. Precious metals prices also fell on long liquidation pressure after Monday's sharp rallies.

May WTI crude oil this morning is down -1.21 (-1.91%) and May gasoline is down -0.0238 (-1.21%). Tuesday's closes: May crude +0.50 (+0.79%), May gasoline +0.0080 (+0.41%). May crude oil and gasoline on Tuesday closed moderately higher on the the recovery in the U.S. stock market, which encouraged capital flows back into commodities, and on Bloomberg's report that OPEC's production in March fell by -170,000 bpd to a 1-year low 32.04 million bpd due in large part to Venezuelan production woes. Crude oil prices were undercut by the consensus that Wednesday's weekly EIA report will show a +2 million bbl rise in U.S. crude oil inventories.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

Boeing (BA +2.60%) is sharply lower in pre-market trading after China said it would slap a 25% tariff on U.S. products including aircraft.

Dave & Buster's (PLAY +1.50%) fell 3% in after-hours trading after issuing guidance for fiscal year revenue that was about 2% below the consensus.

Cloudera's (CLDR +4.76%) plunged 18% in after-hours trading after its annual revenue forecast was 4% below the consensus.

Aehr Test Systems (AEHR +1.34%) rallied 15% in after-hours trading on larger-than-expected Q3 revenue and news of a follow-on order.

Landec's (LNDC +1.53%) fiscal Q3 EPS report of 58 cents easily beat the consensus of 9 cents.

Viacom (VIAB -3.70%) fell marginally in after-hours trading after a report that CBS submitted its bid for Viacom, signaling the beginning of deal talks.

PTC Therapeutics (PTCT +0.58%) fell 4% in after-hours trading after a ratings downgrade from Barclays due to a lack of revenue upside.

April 3, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

June S&P 500 E-minis (ESM18 +0.39%) are trading higher by +0.50% this morning as some of the gloom from Monday dissipated and as overseas stock markets today did not fall as far as U.S. stocks did on Monday. The Euro Stoxx 50 index this morning is down -0.58%, which is a substantially smaller decline than Monday's -2.23% plunge in the S&P 500 index. Asian stocks this morning closed with losses of less than -1%: Japan Nikkei -0.45%, Hong Kong Hang Seng +0.29%, China Shanghai -0.84%, Taiwan TAIEX -0.61%, Australian S&P 200 -0.13%, Singapore Str. Times -0.54%, South Korea KOSPI 200 -0.20%, India Sensex 30 +0.35%, Turkey ISE National 100 +0.12%.

The dollar index (DXY00 +0.04%) this morning is trading slightly lower by -0.06 (-0.06%) and EUR/USD (^EURUSD unch) is slightly lower by -0.0011 (-0.09%). USD/JPY (^USDJPY +0.34%) is up +0.36 (+0.34%) on reduced safe-haven demand for the yen. June 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 -0-050) are down -6.5 ticks as safe-haven demand faded with the partial recovery in E-minis.

May WTI crude oil (CLK18 +0.21%) this morning is up +0.33 (+0.52%) and May gasoline (RBK18+0.57%)is up +0.0187 (+0.95%) on an upward rebound after Monday's sharp losses. Precious metals prices this morning are giving back some of Monday's sharp gains with June gold down 4.7 (-0.35%) and May silver down -0.127 (-0.76%), but May copper is up +0.011 (+0.34%). Grain prices this morning are trading higher with May corn up +0.25 (+0.06%), May soybeans up +7.75 (+0.75%), and May wheat up +4.25 (+0.95%). Softs this morning are mixed with May sugar down -0.19 (-1.52%), May coffee up +0.10 (+0.09%), May cocoa down -34 (-1.29%), and May cotton up +0.18 (+0.22%).

The Trump administration is reportedly pushing for a preliminary NAFTA agreement that it can announce next week.

The Australian central bank today at its monthly policy meeting left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low of 1.5% for the 20th straight month, which was fully in line with market expectations.

Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda told parliament that the Bank of Japan is internally discussing about how to begin exiting from its stimulus program but that it is too early to talk about details in public.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) Mar total vehicle sales (expected 16.90 million, Feb 16.96 million), (2) Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari (non-voter) speaks at a regional economic forum in Duluth, MN, (3) Fed Governor Lael Brainard (voter) speaks about financial stability in a lecture at the Stern School of Business at NY Univ.

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: none.

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: Spotify (SPOT) in alternative IPO.

Equity conferences this week: Cowen & Co. Future of the Consumer Conference on Tue.

Market Comments

June S&P 500 E-minis this morning are moderately higher by +0.50%. Monday's closes: S&P 500 -2.23%, Dow Jones -1.90%, Nasdaq -2.89%. The S&P 500 on Monday closed sharply lower on China's announcement that already-announced tariffs on $3 billion of U.S. imports would go into effect on Monday. Stocks were also undercut by the weaker-than-expected March U.S. ISM manufacturing index report of -1.5 to 59.3 vs expectations of -1.2 to 59.6. There was also continued weakness in tech stocks on trade tensions. Amazon.com fell sharply as President Trump continued his tweet attack on the retailer.

June 10-year T-notes are down -6.5 ticks on reduced safe-haven demand. Monday's closes: TYM8 +4, FVM8 +3.50. Jun 10-year T-notes on Monday closed higher on safe-haven demand sparked by the sharp sell-off in stocks. T-notes also received support from the weaker-than-expected ISM manufacturing index of -1.5 to 59.3 and the recent easing of expectations for Fed rate hikes through 2019. The -3% plunge in May crude oil softened the inflation outlook.

The dollar index this morning is trading slightly lower by -0.06 (-0.06%) and EURUSD is slightly lower by -0.0011 (-0.09%). USD/JPY is up +0.36 (+0.34%) on reduced safe-haven demand for the yen. Monday's closes: Dollar Index +0.078 (+0.09%), EUR/USD -0.0022 (-0.18%), USD/JPY -0.39 (-0.37%). The dollar index on Monday closed slightly higher on trade tensions that sparked a big sell-off in U.S. stocks and possibly some capital flight from the U.S. The dollar was also undercut by the weaker-than-expected U.S. ISM manufacturing index report of -1.5 to 59.3, which was negative for the U.S. economy. USD/JPY fell by -0.37% as the yen saw some flight-to-quality demand on the sharp decline in U.S. stocks.

Precious metals prices this morning are giving back some of Monday's sharp gains with June gold down 4.7 (-0.35%) and May silver down -0.127 (-0.76%), but May copper is up +0.011 (+0.34%). Monday's closes: Apr gold +19.30 (+1.46%), May silver +0.404 (+2.48%), May copper +2.45 (+0.81%). Metals on Monday settled sharply higher on the plunge in stocks that sparked some flight-to-quality demand for precious metals. Copper prices received some support from the positive Chinese official manufacturing PMI report although the Caixan PMI report was weak.

May WTI crude oil this morning is up +0.33 (+0.52%) and May gasoline is up +0.0187 (+0.95%) on an upward rebound after Monday's sharp losses. Monday's closes: May crude -1.93 (-2.97%), May gasoline -0.0545 (-2.70%). May crude oil and gasoline on Monday fell sharply on the plunge in in U.S. stocks, which was negative for the economic outlook and energy demand. In addition, trade tensions and a risk-off mentality caused capital flight from the commodity sector.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

Spotify Technology (@symbolPercentChange((SPOT)) today is scheduled to hold an alternative IPO where the shares simply start trading publicly without the traditional Wall Street bank managing an IPO process.

At Tesla (TSLA -5.13%), CEO Elon Musk said he is personally taking charge of the Model 3 production line on order to fix production delays and meet the company's aggressive production targets.

Baker Hughes (BHGE) was upgraded to overweight from neutral and the price target was raised to $39 from $35 at Piper.

Switch (SWCH -0.38%) fell sharply by -10% in after-hours trading after its 2018 Ebitda forecast missed the consensus.

Viacom (VIAB -1.64%) fell sharply in after-hours trading on a report that CBS is preparing a below-market initial bid.

Wyndham (WYN -2.92%) received a rating of Outperform in new coverage by Oppenheimer with a price target of $135.

Trade War Is A ‘Wild Card’ That’s Good For Gold, Says Mickey Fulp

Anna Golubova Monday April 02, 2018 21:53

Dollar In "Crisis Zone," Gold Investors To Profit - CrossBorder Capital

David Lin Monday April 02, 2018 14:59

Gold refreshes session tops, around $1335 level ahead of US data

APRIL 2, 2018 8:23 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

• Renewed trade war fears prompt USD selling and helps regain traction.

• Risk-off mood provides an additional boost to the safe-haven appeal.

• Traders now eye US ISM PMI for some short-term opportunities.

Gold continued gaining some positive traction through the mid-European session and refreshed session tops in the past hour.

A fresh wave of US Dollar selling pressure, triggered by some renewed US-China trade war fears, was seen as one of the factors underpinning demand for dollar-denominated commodities.

Adding to this, indications of a weaker opening across the US equity markets further underpinned the precious metal's safe-haven appeal and collaborated to the strong bid tone at the start of a new trading week.

Meanwhile, traders seemed to have largely ignored a goodish pickup in the US Treasury bond yields, with the USD price dynamics/risk-off mood acting as an exclusive driver of the non-yielding yellow metal's positive move on Monday.

Traders now look forward to the release of US ISM manufacturing PMI in order to grab some short-term trading opportunities. This along with this week's important US macro releases, including the keenly watched NFP, would play a key role in determining the commodity's next leg of directional move.

Technical levels to watch

A follow-through buying interest has the potential to continue lifting the commodity further towards $1340 intermediate resistance en-route $1346 supply zone. On the flip side, $1330 level now seems to protect the immediate downside, which if broken could accelerate the fall back towards $1326 horizontal level ahead of $1320 support.

April 2, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

June S&P 500 E-minis (ESM18 -0.47%) this morning are down -0.24% after China announced the implementation of its previously-announced tariffs on about $3 billion of U.S. goods in retaliation for U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs. Tech stocks remain on the defensive after President Trump over the weekend tweeted additional criticism of Amazon.com regarding its use of the U.S. Postal Service for deliveries. The markets are closed today for Easter Monday in UK, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, and most of Europe. Asian stocks today closed mostly lower on continued trade tensions after China announced the implementation of its tariffs on U.S. products: Japan Nikkei -0.31%, China Shanghai -0.18%, Taiwan TAIEX -0.29%, Singapore Str. Times +0.08%, South Korea KOSPI 200 -0.19%, India BSE Sensex 30 +0.87%, Turkey ISE National 100 +0.09%.

The dollar index (DXY00 +0.10%) is trading slightly lower by -0.059 points (-0.07%), while EUR/USD (^EURUSD +0.17%) is slightly higher by +0.0004 (+0.03%) and USD/JPY (^USDJPY+0.04%) is little changed. The yen was undercut by the slightly weaker-than-expected Tankan report, although there was a survey showing some improved public support for Japanese Prime Minister Abe. June 10-year T-note prices are down -4.5 ticks.

May WTI crude oil (CLK18 +0.40%) prices are up +0.29 (+0.45%) and May gasoline (RBK18+0.32%) is up +0.0071 (+0.35%) on some carry-over support from last Thursday's Baker Hughes report showing that the number of active U.S. oil rigs fell by 7 rigs. Metals prices are higher this morning on the slightly weaker dollar with April gold up +8.1 (+0.61%), May silver up +0.187 (+1.15%), and May copper up +0.038 (+1.26%). Grain prices this morning are showing solid gains on continued support from last Thursday's USDA Prospective Plantings report with May corn up 3.50 (+0.90%), May soybeans up +13.00 (+1.24%), and May wheat up +4.00 (+0.89%). May cotton is up 1.21 (+1.49%).

China on Sunday announced that its previously-announced tariffs on $3 billion worth of U.S. goods would take effect today. The tariffs on some 128 products were in response to President Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs. Those products include fruit, nuts, wine, pork, certain steel products, and others. China has not yet announced any retaliation for President Trump's tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese products for intellectual property violations.

China's weekend PMI data was mixed. Friday night's Chinese March manufacturing PMI rose by +1.2 points to 51.5, which was substantially stronger than market expectations of +0.3 to 50.6. The strong March report overcame Feb's -1.0 point decline and indicated that Chinese manufacturing confidence improved despite U.S. tariff threats and the strong yuan. Friday night's March non-manufacturing PMI rose by +0.2 points to 54.6, which was in line with market expectations and left the index at a solid level. However, Sunday night's Caixin China manufacturing PMI fell by -0.6 points to 51.0, which was weaker than market expectations of +0.1 to 51.7.

Sunday night's Japan Q1 Tankan report was slightly weaker than expected but still showed that Japanese business confidence is relatively strong since the indexes were all well above the positive-negative threshold of zero. The Q1 Tankan large-manufacturer index fell by -2 points to 24 from Q4's upwardly-revised 26 (preliminary 25), which was 1 point weaker than expectations of 25. The Q1 Tankan large-manufacturer outlook index fell by -1 point to 20 from Q4's upwardly-revised 21 (preliminary 19), which was 3 points below expectations of 22. The Q1 Tankan large non-manufacturer index fell by -2 points to 23 from Q4's upwardly-revised 25, which was 1 point below expectations of 24. The Q1 Tankan large-non-manufacturer outlook index was unchanged at 20, which was 1 point below expectations of 21.

The Tankan report carried some good news on capital spending with large companies saying they plan to boost capital investment by +2.3% in the fiscal year through 2019, which was stronger than market expectations of +1.0% and the +0.6% increase in the previous fiscal year.

President Trump on Saturday again tweeted criticism of Amazon.com, saying that the company was taking advantage of the U.S. Postal Service.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) final-Mar Markit manufacturing PMI (expected unrevised at 55.7, prelim-Mar +0.4 to 55.7), (2) Mar ISM manufacturing PMI (expected -0.8 to 60.0, Feb +1.7 to 60.8), (3) Feb construction spending (expected +0.4% m/m, Jan unch m/m), (4) USDA weekly grain export inspections, (5) Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari (non-voter) speaks on monetary policy and the economy at a student town hall in Duluth, MN.

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: Switch Inc (consensus -$0.20).

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.

Equity conferences this week: Cowen & Co. Future of the Consumer Conference on Tue.

Market Comments

Jun S&P 500 E-mini stock futures this morning are trading slightly lower due to China's implementation of previously-announced tariffs on about $3 billion of U.S. goods effective today. Thursday's closes: S&P 500 +1.42%, Dow Jones +1.31%, Nasdaq +1.86%. The S&P 500 on Thursday closed higher on a rebound in beaten-down technology stocks after two days of losses. Stocks were also supoprted by signs of U.S. labor market strength after weekly initial unemployment claims unexpectedly fell -12,000 to a 45-year low of 215,000 and after Feb U.S. personal income and spending were in line with expectations of +0.4% and +0.2%, respectively.

Jun 10-year T-note prices this morning are down -4.5 ticks. Thursday's closes: TYM8 +7.50, FVM8 +3.50. Jun 10-year T-notes on Thursday closed higher on slack inflation pressures after the Feb core PCE deflator, the Fed's preferred gauge of inflation, edged higher to +1.6% y/y from +1.5% but remained below the Fed's 2.0% target. T-note prices were also boosted by the unexpected decline in the Mar Chicago PMI by -4.5 points to a 1-year low of 57.4, weaker than expectations of +0.1 to 62.0.

The dollar index is trading slightly lower by -0.059 points (-0.07%), while EUR/USD is slightly higher by +0.0004 (+0.03%) and USD/JPY is little changed. EUR/USD is and USD/JPY is . Thursday's closes: Dollar Index +0.093 (+0.10%), EUR/USD +0.0003 (+0.02%), USD/JPY +0.04 (+0.04%). The dollar index on Thursday closed higher on the unexpected decline in U.S. weekly jobless claims to a 45-year low, which was hawkish for Fed policy. EUR/USD was undercut by the +1.5% y/y increase in German Mar CPI, weaker than expectations of +1.6% y/y and dovish for ECB monetary policy.

May WTI crude oil prices are up +0.29 (+0.45%) and gasoline is up +0.0071 (+0.35%) on some carry-over support from last Thursday's Baker Hughes report showing that the number of active U.S. oil rigs fell by 7 rigs. Thursday's closes: May crude +0.55 (+0.85%), May gasoline +0.0025 (+0.12%). May crude oil and gasoline on Thursday closed higher on the rally in stocks, which bolsters confidence in the economic outlook and energy demand, and on comments from Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi who said some OPEC producers and allies are considering prolonging their crude production cuts into the middle of next year.

Metals prices are higher this morning on the slightly weaker dollar with April gold up +8.1 (+0.61%), May silver up +0.187 (+1.15%), and May copper up +0.038 (+1.26%). Thursday's closes: Apr gold -1.4 (-0.11%), May silver +0.105 (+0.09%), May copper +0.0235 (+0.78%). Metals on Thursday settled mixed with Apr gold at a 1-week low. Metals prices were undercut by a stronger dollar, and by the rally in stocks, which reduced the safe-haven demand for precious metals. Copper rallied after LME copper inventories fell -5,100 MT, the first decline in the last five sessions.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

Facebook (FB +4.42%) CEO Zuckerberg told Vox in an interview that it will take "a few years" to fix Facebook

Walmart (WMT +1.37%) is moving closer to acquiring Humana (HUM)

Tesla (TSLA +3.24%) is trading lower on continued concern about the recent autonomous driving accident in California and news of a recall on Model S cars build before April 2016. Tesla is expected to announce Q1 delivery figures early this week.

Fitbit (FIT +3.87%) is trading lower after Morgan Stanley issued a negative opinion

Agilent's (A +0.75%) price target was raised to $95 from $90 at Morgan Stanley on stronger cyclical trends in the sector.

Northern Trust (NTRS +1.98%) was upgraded to Buy at Goldman and the price target was raised to $121 from $113.

Baker Hughes (BHGE -1.07%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch.

Gold Investors: Keep The Faith, Higher Prices Coming - Analysts

Neils Christensen Thursday March 29, 2018

(Kitco News) - Frustration is starting to build among gold investors, but analysts are encouraging them to keep the faith as the market still has potential to break through $1,400 an ounce eventually.

While the breakout may not be on the horizon in the short-term, many analysts think that it is only a matter of time and instead of giving up, many analysts see a drop back to the lower end of its current trading range.

This week has been particularly vexing for investors as the yellow metal was unable to hold gains above $1,350 an ounce even after last week’s rally, which saw the best weekly gains in nearly two years. This week the gold market has given almost half of those gains. June gold futures settled the week at $1,327.3 an ounce, down almost 2% from the previous Friday.

After hitting a three-week high, the silver market also ended up giving back all of its gains from the previous week. May silver futures last traded at $16.268 an ounce, also down nearly 2% from last week.

Bill Baruch, president of Blue Line futures, said that he still sees the potential for gold even after its latest rally has fizzled out. He added that investors need to stop getting lost in the small corrections and focus on the overall trend.

“I don’t think the trade is gone just yet,” he said. “The more ground gold can hold the better it will do when the U.S. dollar eventually turns. I expect the U.S. dollar will lose another 5% this year and that will be bullish for gold.”

Jasper Lawler, head of market research at London Capital Group, said that the gold market is just biding its time, waiting for the spark that will ignite a new rally. He added that although the gold market is unable to break out, prices continue to consolidate in a higher range.

“We aren’t seeing any major capitulation and that could be a good sign for the market,” he said. “When we see more sustained weakness in equities that will be gold’s time to shine.”

It is Not Just Gold That is Frustrating Investors

While gold investors might think they are suffering alone, Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at SIA Wealth Management said that it looks like all markets are in a holding pattern at the moment. He noted that equity markets are churning as much as gold. Earlier this week equities saw an across-the-board 2% rally only to see those gains disappear the following session.

Cieszynski added that in currency markets, the euro, pound, yen and U.S dollar, are all stuck in a range.

“There is no conviction one way or another to push prices in any markets,” he said. “Investors are just waiting around to get more information. For the gold market, we see economic growth with no inflation and geopolitical tensions are starting to ease, but volatility in markets continues to provide important support.”

The market could get some direction next week as markets wait for the release of March’s employment report. Lawler said that markets will be sensitive to any correction in the employment data after more than 300,000 jobs were created in February.

How To Play This Gold Market

Analysts continue to warn that gold investors need to be patient and pick their buying opportunities carefully. Phillip Streible, senior market analyst at RJOFutures, said that he expects gold prices to fall back to its 200-day moving average, which comes in at $1,304.60 an ounce.

“I think we are going to be stuck in a long-sideways pattern and now we will test the bottom end of the range,” he said. “I would be buying gold around $1,305 and would get out of the market if prices break below $1,300.”

Streible added that he is also looking at buying put options at $1,300 an ounce to provide some downside protection.

Baruch is also looking to buy gold on price drops and likes hedging his position with put options.

Streible added that even though gold is unable to break its current channel, it is a better investment than equity markets.

“Equities are too volatile right now and are a bigger gamble than gold and that could attract some investors,” he said.

The Market Needs To See More Physical Demand

While increased volatility and weaker equity markets will continue to support gold, Maxwell Gold, head of investment research at ETF Securities, said in a recent interview with Kitco News, that the market needs to see a reassurance in physical demand.

He explained that an increase in physical bullion demand will be the spark to drive prices through $1,400 an ounce.

“Physical demand helps to provide ceiling and a floor for the market. Without that physical demand, investment demand doesn’t get you to that new range,” he said.

The Final Say…

While markets will be waiting for Friday’s government employment report, there will be enough data released through the week to keep investors engaged.

Major economic reports that will be released this week include manufacturing and service-sector sentiment data from the Institute for Supply Management. Markets will also get private sector employment data from private payrolls processor ADP

RERUN: Gold Is “Where It Should Be” – Pierre Lassonde

Mar 29, 2018

Pierre Lassonde Chairman, Franco-Nevada

While a much higher gold price is needed to bring bullish sentiment back into the mining space, the yellow metal is already fairly priced, said Pierre Lassonde, Chairman of Franco-Nevada Corp.“At $,1300 [an ounce], I will argue that gold is well priced,” Lassonde told Kitco News on the sidelines of the BMO Global Metals & Mining Conference. “It’s not overpriced and it’s not underpriced. It’s where it should be given everything else that’s happening in the world.”Lassonde noted that the industry itself, particularly the producers of precious metals, has been performing well, but much higher gold prices will be needed to secure investors’ interest back into the market. “At $1,300 gold, the mining companies, the operators, are doing well, you can see the balance sheets are better than ever. They’ve learned their lesson and are focusing on margins,” Lassonde said. “But if you look at the investors, they don’t want to hear about it.”Lassonde noted that Franco-Nevada, Newmont, and Agnico Eagle are currently the top performers in the industry, or as he liked to call it, companies with the “golden halo.

Gold Struggles for Direction as Dollar Inches Down

MARCH 29, 2018 11:41 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Gold struggled for direction on Thursday, as it struggled to rise from a dampened dollar.

Comex gold futures for April delivery slumped 0.15% to a one-week low of $1,322.20 a troy ounce as of 11:40 AM ET (15:40 GMT).

The price of the precious metal was lower earlier in the day as the dollar strengthened but sediment was dampened after a flurry of economic data. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was up 0.07% to 89.82.

The dollar was little moved by a economic data showing U.S. consumer spending rose only modestly in February and another report showing that jobless claims fell to a 45-year low last week.

The Commerce Department reported that consumer spending rose 0.2% last month, lagging behind income growth, which rose 0.4% last month.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation climbed 1.8% year-over-year, the most in nearly a year.

The U.S. currency was also bolstered after China said on Wednesday that North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un had pledged his commitment to denuclearization while U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that Kim looked forward to meeting with him.

Investors seek out gold as a store of value during times of geopolitical uncertainty or market turmoil, while a weaker dollar makes the dollar-denominated metal cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Recent worries that protectionist trade policies from the U.S. and China might result in a trade war had boosted gold in recent days, amid fears over the impact on global economic growth.

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver futures were up 0.14% to $16.275 a troy ounce. Among other precious metals, platinum decreased 0.50% to $936.10, while palladium slumped 2.07% to $943.30 an ounce.

Meanwhile, copper futures inched up 0.50% to $3.017 a pound.

With Gold Near $1,325, Is It Time To Buy?

Anna Golubova Wednesday March 28, 2018 21:03

(Kitco News) - This could be a good time to invest in gold as the risk to the precious metal’s prices is “firmly” to the upside, according to Capital Economics.

Gold stands to benefit greatly from any escalation in trade war fears, as an increase in tensions will lead to investors selling riskier assets and buying safe-haven options, said Capital Economics’ commodities economist Simona Gambarini.

“The global economic impact of the tariffs announced by the Trump administration will be small in our view, even if they are implemented in full, which appears unlikely. We also expect that any retaliation will be moderate. But the implications for financial markets, including gold, could be much bigger,” Gambarini said in a note published on Wednesday.

Gold prices tumbled on Wednesday, largely pressured by a rebound in the U.S. dollar and a risk-on investor attitude. As Asian markets opened on Thursday, April Comex gold futures were trading at $1,324.80, up 0.05% on the day, while spot gold on Kitco.com was last at $1,325.60, up 0.09% on the day.

“We suspect that there is a sizeable risk premium currently embedded into gold prices and this could rise further over the next few weeks should fears of a trade war flare up again or relations between the US and Iran or the UK and Russia deteriorate,” she added.

What investors should be watching next is how the U.S. dollar behaves, the note pointed out.

“In the event of a full-blown trade war, the dollar could continue to make headway against emerging market currencies, while simultaneously weakening against its developed market counterparts. In this event, we can expect investors to rotate out of risky assets and into safe havens, with gold a key beneficiary,” Gambarini wrote.

In contrast, if trade risks take a backseat, the U.S. dollar might regain strength and put pressure on gold prices.

Even though Capital Economics projects that gold prices will fall to $1,270 by year-end, the bank pointed out that the risk to prices is on the upside.

“Overall, our end-2018 forecast for the price of gold is $1,270 per ounce, down from about $1,332 today. That said, in the short term we think that as long as the uncertainty remains over a potential trade war, the balance of risks is firmly to the upside,” Gambarini said.

This Is The Critical Element Needed To Drive Gold Prices Through $1,400 - ETF Securities

Neils Christensen Wednesday March 28, 2018 12:49

(Kitco News) - While the gold market continues to build bullish momentum, the market still needs one key ingredient that will ultimately drive gold prices through $1,400 an ounce, according to one investment firm.

In a recent telephone interview with Kitco News, Maxwell Gold, head of investment strategy at ETF Securities, said that the market needs to see a resurgence of physical demand both in North American and critical emerging markets.

While investment demand is benefiting from rising volatility, stable interest rates, rising inflation pressures and a weak U.S. dollar, Gold said that the market might not have enough momentum to break its current range.

“Physical demand helps to provide ceiling and a floor for the market. Without that physical demand, investment demand just doesn’t get you to that new range,” he said.

While renewed investor demand has helped push gold price to a recent five-week high, Gold said that the issue is that this speculative money has a habit of being fleeting. He explained that strong physical demand is a lot stickier and helps to create a stable price environment.

Although physical gold demand has been lackluster so far in 2018, Gold said that he thinks it is only a matter of time before investors move back into the marketplace. He added that higher prices due to further uncertainty in equity markets continues to make gold an attractive safe-haven asset.

“Investors are quietly trying to get back into the gold market because of the risks that are growing in the global market place. Investors are still underweight gold,” he said. “My bullish case for gold this year calls for prices to be between $1,400 and $1,450 and I do think we can get there sooner if we see a continued selloff in equities.”

Gold’s comments come as the yellow metal struggles to hold on to gains after pushing to a five-week high at the start of the week. April gold futures last traded at $1,324.80 an ounce, down more than 1% on the day.

Gold added that he isn’t concerned with any near-term weakness in the market. He explained that lower prices make strategic investments in the precious metals more attractive.

“For strategic holdings we see any dip below $1,300 an ounce is an attractive entry point that will be quickly bought,” he said.

Gold Prices Fall Sharply as Dollar Rallies, Geopolitical Uncertainty Eases

MARCH 28, 2018 2:15 PM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Gold prices fell sharply on Wednesday as traders fled the precious metal amid dollar strength on upbeat U.S. economic growth, while easing geopolitical uncertainty dented safe-demand demand.

Gold futures for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell by $17.80, or 1.33%, to $1,324.20 a troy ounce.

A rally in the dollar to 0.84% to 89.71, a five-day high, pressured gold prices, as traders cheered data supporting the narrative of ongoing U.S. economic strength.

Gross domestic product increased at a 2.9% annual rate in the October-December period, the Commerce Department said in its final estimate on Wednesday, beating a previous estimate of 2.5%, and economists’ expectations for a 2.7% increase.

Gold is sensitive to moves higher in the U.S. dollar – a stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of foreign currency, thus, reduces investor demand for the precious metal.

Fading geopolitical uncertainty, meanwhile, reduced investor appetite for safe-haven gold in the wake of reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to commit to denuclearisation amid talks with China’s Xi Jinping. U.S. President Donald Trump welcomed the news of progress following the talks between the two leaders in Beijing.

“Received message last night from Xi Jinping of China that his meeting with Kim Jong Un went very well and that Kim looks forward to his meeting with me,” Trump said in a tweet.

In other precious metal trade, silver futures fell 1.76% to $16.25 a troy ounce, while platinum futures fell 1.22% to $940.80 an ounce.

Copper fell 0.12% to $2.999, while natural gas fell 0.63% to $2.70.

Stay Long-Term Bullish On Gold - Expert

Mar 26, 2018

Todd 'Bubba' Horwitz Chief Market Strategist, BubbaTrading.com

Investors should remain long-term bullish on gold, but expect “bumps in the road,” said Todd “Bubba” Horwitz of bubbatrading.com.“I wouldn’t be surprised to see gold go down and test that $1,300, or even, worst case, $1,240. However, very long term, I’m extremely bullish gold, but I do see some bumps in the road,” Horwitz told Kitco News.The veteran trader said that a rising U.S. dollar is one key factor for gold’s drops.

RERUN: It's Not Just Jim Rickards, I Prescribe To $10,000 Gold - Byron King

Mar 26, 2018

Byron King Editor, Agora Financial

The imminent collapse of modern currencies will push gold up to $10,000 an ounce, assuming central banks resort back to a gold-backed monetary system, said Byron King, editor of Jim Rickards’ Gold Speculator.“If you take the global money supply, back it with 40% gold, you need $10,000 gold to make the math work, and that’s just using a 40% backing,” King told Kitco News on the sidelines of the PDAC 2018.“And it has to do with the eventual demise of modern currencies.”Byron noted that gold stocks at current valuations are much more attractive now than they were two years ago, and said that today’s miners are backed by “better numbers” and “smarter geologists.”“We are in a new gold bull cycle, we’re in a blip of six or eight month downturn, but it will turn around. These are fundamentally good companies with great value behind them,” he said.

Gold Prices Hold Gains as Dollar Slump Continues

MARCH 26, 2018 2:01 PM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Gold prices rallied to a more than six-week high as a slump in the dollar helped the precious metal hold onto gains despite easing concerns about the prospect of U.S.-China trade war.

Gold futures for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose by $5.20, or 0.40%, to $1,355.30 a troy ounce as dollar continued its retreat.

Dollar-denominated assets such as gold are sensitive to moves in the dollar – A fall in the dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of foreign currency and thus, increases demand for the precious metal.

China and the U.S. “have quietly started negotiating” to improve U.S. access to Chinese markets, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

China reportedly considered the U.S.’s requests seeking a reduction of Chinese tariffs on U.S. automobiles, more Chinese purchases of U.S. semiconductors and greater access to China’s financial sector by American companies.

This comes amid growing investor consensus that Trump’s move to impose tariffs formed part of a negotiating tactic as several trading partners including South Korea, Canada, Mexico and EU have since been granted exemptions.

“As for the risk of a broader trade dispute, we think the odds here remain low as well,” Morgan Stanley said in a note clients. “More importantly, Europe has been exempted much like the President exempted Canada and Mexico from the steel and aluminium tariffs a few weeks ago.” The bank added, “This all suggests these shots across the bow are being used more as negotiating tactics.”

Some market participants, suggested, however, that the 3.3% advance in gold prices relative to a 3.1% slump in silver prices so far this year serves as a negative economic indicator, raising safe-haven demand.

A higher gold-to-silver ratio is viewed by some investors as a negative economic indicator because market participants tend to favour gold in times of market turmoil and sell silver when they are concerned about slowdown in global growth stifling consumption.

In other precious metal trade, silver futures rose 0.80% to $16.72 a troy ounce, while platinum futures gained 0.29% to $956.80 an ounce.

Copper fell 0.77% to $2.970, while natural gas rose 1.22% to $2.67.

Gold Completes 5-Year Breakout Pattern

By Alan Farley | March 26, 2018 — 9:55 AM EDT

The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) has lifted quietly to five-year trendline resistance at $130 ($1,380 on the CME Globex futures contract), bucking headwinds from a more hawkish Federal Reserve that is expected to raise interest rates three to four more times before the end of 2018. This bullish price action completes a multi-year basing pattern, with a breakout confirming the first major uptrend since 2011.

A gold breakout is likely to coincide with inflation data rising more quickly than expected, forcing the Fed to play catch-up. That could happen in the dreaded stagflation scenario, in which trade wars slow world economic growth while commodity, industrial and consumer prices rise rapidly due to protectionist and retaliation policies. Gold could also attract aggressive buying pressure if U.S. talks with North Korea fail in May, which is the most likely outcome.

GLD Long-Term Chart (2004 – 2018)

The SPDR Gold Trust came public in the mid-$40s in the fourth quarter of 2004, at the same time that gold futures were trading near $450. It entered a powerful uptrend one year later, topping out at $72.26 in May 2006. A shallow pullback into 2007 attracted healthy buying interest, generating a buying surge that stalled in the first quarter of 2008, right at $100 and $1,000 on the futures contract. It fell sharply during the economic collapse, bouncing on top of the 2007 breakout in the upper $60s.

The subsequent recovery wave reached the 2008 high at the end of 2009, ahead of a powerful breakout that also cleared psychological resistance, spawning a momentum-fueled advance that came to a crashing halt in the third quarter of 2011. The fund topped out at an all-time high at $185.85 and sold off to $148.27 while futures posted a historic top at $1,911.60, less than 100 points below $2,000.

A 2013 descending triangle breakdown dropped the fund into a downtrend that ground out a descending channel into December 2015, when GLD bottomed out at $100.23. A bounce into July 2016 stalled at $121.15, with mixed action since that time holding within the boundaries of the seven-month price swing. Meanwhile, major highs since 2013 have drawn a trendline that has been tested unsuccessfully three times, while a fourth test has been under way since September 2017.

GLD Short-Term Chart (2016 – 2018)

An intermediate downturn followed the rally into July 2016, with the fund posting a higher low after dropping into the .786 Fibonacci rally retracement level. A slow-motion recovery wave then took control, reaching trendline resistance for the fourth time in September 2017. The narrow range pattern into March 2018 bodes well for gold bugs, with long-term cycles aligning in a bullish convergence that could generate a major breakout in the coming quarter.

On-balance volume (OBV) posted a lower high in 2012 and entered a brutal distribution phase, descending for more than three years before turning higher in early 2016. Subsequent accumulation ended right at pattern resistance generated by the descending triangle, warning of a similar fate when the futures contract finally trades above $1,500. The indicator has now returned to that level and should break out in reaction to a price surge above $1,400.

The breakout level has aligned with the .382 retracement of the long-term downtrend, establishing an upside target above $150 for GLD and $1,500 on the futures contract. That would translate into a rally that reaches major resistance at the descending triangle breakdown at $153. It will take considerable buying power to mount that barrier, suggesting that breakout buyers take aggressive profits as the rally develops.


March 26, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

Jun E-mini S&Ps (ESM18 +1.19%) this morning are up sharply by +1.23% and European stocks are up +0.49% as concerns eased over a China/U.S. trade war. The WSJ reported that unidentified people with knowledge of the matter said China and the U.S. have quietly started negotiations to improve U.S. access to Chinese markets. The talks are led by U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and U.S. trade representative Lighthizer and Chinese President Jinping's top economic aid Liu He. On a Sunday news show, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said he's "cautiously hopeful" that China will reach a deal to avoid tariffs. Asian stocks settled mixed: Japan +0.72%, Hong Kong +0.79%, China -0.60%, Taiwan +0.15%, Australia -0.52%, Singapore -0.26%, South Korea +0.79%, India +1.44%. China's Shanghai Composite fell to a 1-1/2 month low, although closed well above its lows, and Japan's Nikkei Stock Index rebounded from a 5-3/4 month low and closed higher on optimism the U.S. and China can reach an agreement over trade tariffs.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.23%) is down -0.23% at a 5-week low. EUR/USD (^EURUSD+0.49%) is up +0.50% at a 2-week high. USD/JPY (^USDJPY +0.36%) is up +0.37%.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 -0-050) are down -4.5 ticks.

ECB Governing Council member Weidmann said "the end of net asset purchases is only the beginning of a monetary-policy normalization process that will take several years, and that's why it's particularly important to start soon." He added that market expectations for the end of bond buying in 2018 and forecasts for the first interest-rate increase in the middle of 2019 are "not unrealistic."

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) Feb Chicago Fed national activity index (expected +0.03 to 0.15, Jan -0.02 to 0.12), (2) Mar Dallas Fed manufacturing activity (expected -3.7 to 33.5, Feb +3.8 to 37.2), (3) USDA weekly grain export inspections, (4) New York Fed President William Dudley (voter) speaks to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington on the future of financial regulation, (5) Treasury auctions $30 billion of 2-year T-notes, (6) Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester (voter) speaks on monetary policy at Princeton University, (7) Fed Vice Chair Randal Quarles speaks at the Hope Global Forums meeting n Atlanta.

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: Paychex (consensus $0.63), Red Hat (0.81).

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: GreenTree Hospitality Group (GHG).

Equity conferences this week: Scotia Howard Weil Energy Conference on Mon-Tue, Needham & Company Health Care Conference on Tue, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Auto Summit on Wed, Barclays, Chemical ROC Stars Conference on Wed.

Market Comments

Jun S&P 500 E-mini stock futures (ESM18 +1.19%) this morning are up sharply by +32.00 points (+1.23%). Friday's closes: S&P 500 -2.10%, Dow Jones -1.77%, Nasdaq -2.61%. The S&P 500 on Friday fell to a 1-1/2 month low and closed sharply lower on an escalation of a trade war between China and the U.S. after China said it will levy tariffs on $3 billion of U.S. goods in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum. There was some underlying support from the +1.8% increase in U.S. Feb capital goods new orders nondefense ex-aircraft, stronger than expectations of +0.9%. Energy stocks were supported by the +2.46% rally in crude oil prices to a 1-3/4 month high.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 -0-050) this morning are down -4.5 ticks. Friday's closes: TYM8 +18.00, FVM8 +9.75. Jun 10-year T-notes on Friday climbed to a 1-1/2 month high and closed higher on concern that any escalation of a U.S./China trade war will slow economic growth that could delay or stop additional Fed interest rate hikes. T-notes were also supported by dovish comments from Minneapolis Fed President Kashkari who said, "I don't see any evidence the economy is overheating, and wage growth has been quite modest." T-notes gave up most of their gains on concern that China, the largest holder of U.S. debt, may scale back its Treasury purchases after China's ambassador to the U.S. said "we are looking at all options" when asked if China would consider cutting back on purchases of U.S. Treasuries in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.23%) this morning is down -0.207 (-0.23%) at a 5-week low. EUR/USD (^EURUSD +0.49%) is up +0.0062 (+0.50%) at a 2-week high and USD/JPY (^USDJPY +0.36%) is up +0.39 (+0.37%). Friday's closes: Dollar Index -0.421 (-0.47%), EUR/USD +0.0051 (+0.41%), USD/JPY -0.54 (-0.41%). The dollar index on Friday closed lower on concern that an escalation of a trade war with China would curb economic growth after China retaliated against the U.S. for its steel-aluminum tariffs by levying tariffs on $3 billion of U.S. goods. USD/JPY fell to a 16-1/2 month low on increased safe-haven demand for the yen as global stocks declined and after Japan Feb national CPI rose +1.5% y/y, the fastest pace of increase in 2-3/4 years, which is hawkish for BOJ monetary policy closer.

May crude oil (CLK18 -0.21%) this morning is down -12 cents (-0.18%) and May gasoline (RBK18-0.15%) is -0.0029 (-0.14%). Friday's closes: May WTI crude +1.58 (+2.46%), May gasoline +0.0236 (+1.17%). May crude oil and gasoline on Friday closed higher with May crude at a 1-3/4 month high. Crude oil prices were boosted by a weaker dollar and by President Trump's appointment of John Bolton, a known Middle East hawk, as national security adviser, which fueled speculation the Trump administration will take a hardline and reimpose sanctions on Iran that will curb its oil exports and reduce global crude supplies. Crude oil prices were also supported by the increase in the crack spread to a 4-1/4 month high, which gives incentive for refineries to boost their crude purchases to refine the crude into gasoline.

Metals prices this morning are mixed with Apr gold (GCJ18 -0.13%) -1.8 (-0.13%), May silver (SIK18 +0.20%) +0.028 (+0.17%), and May copper (HGK18 -1.50%) -0.043 (-1.44%) at a 3-1/2 month nearest-futures low. Friday's closes: Apr gold +22.5 (+1.70%), May silver +0.195 (+1.19%), May copper -0.0270 (-0.89%). Metals on Friday settled mixed with Apr gold at a 1-month high, May silver at a 1-week high and May copper at a 3-1/2 month low. Metals prices were supported by a weaker dollar and by increased safe-haven demand for precious metals on a possible trade war between China and the U.S. Copper prices fell on concern that an escalation of the trade war between China and the U.S. would curb economic growth and China's copper demand. Copper was also undercut by the rise in weekly Shanghai copper inventories by +10,441 MT to a 11-1/2 month high of 307,435 MT.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

Microsoft (MSFT -2.91%) jumped 4% in pre-market trading after Morgan Stanley named the stock a "Top Pick" and raised their price target on it to $130 from $110.

Dollar Tree (DLTR -1.70%) was upgraded to 'Overweight' from 'Neutral' at Piper Jaffray with a price target of $112.

MetLife (MET -3.57%) was upgraded to 'Overweight' from 'Neutral' at Atlantic Equities LLP with a price target of $60.

Marathon Oil (MRO -0.51%) was upgraded to 'Overweight' from 'Neutral' at JPMorgan Chase with a price target of $20.

Jack in the Box (JACK -0.39%) was downgraded to 'Equal-Weight' from 'Overweight' at Morgan Stanley.

Adobe Systems (ADBE -2.49%) was downgraded to 'Market Perform' from 'Market Outperform' at JMP securities.

Gaia (GAIA -3.42%) was rated a new 'Buy' at B Riley FBR with a price target of $23.

Dover (DOV -0.64%) was downgraded to 'Neutral' from 'Overweight' at JPMorgan Chase.

United Technologies (UTX -1.42%) won a $239.7 million contract from the U.S. Navy for production of 137 F135 propulsion systems.

Redmile Group, the largest holder of Alder Biopharmaceuticals (ALDR -0.88%) stock, said it may consider possible changes to ALDR's board and or management, or other alternatives to increase stockholder value.

Dynavax (DVAX unch) received approval from the FDA for manufacturing changes to its HEPLISAV-B pre-filled syringe and the FDA also approved Dynavax's new manufacturing site for the HEPLISAV-B pre-filled syringe.

Plx Pharma (PLXP -16.94%) was downgraded to 'Neutral' from 'Buy' at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC.

Former Chinese min. Jianguo: China may add more tariffs – China press

MARCH 25, 2018 8:43 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Former China Vice Commerce Minister Wei Jianguo has been cited by Chinese press stating that China may add further tariffs to the US.

Key highlights

Jianguo has been quoted by the government-run Chinese press that the Chinese government is considering adding tariffs on US computer chips and US-made airplanes, a shot across the bow for the American airplane manufacturing sector, which has already been hobbled along by government handouts. This is following the statements that China may be set to also target US soybeans in the next round of the tariff battle if a compromise between the two superpowers isn't reached soon.

Weekly Outlook: March 26 – 30

MARCH 25, 2018 8:27 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – The dollar declined against a basket of major currencies on Friday, settling near a one-month low, as the threat of a looming trade war between the U.S. and China intensified.

President Donald Trump signed a memorandum that would implement tariffs on up to $60 billion in imports from China on Thursday.

The tariffs largely focus on technology sector goods and were intended to penalize China for, according to the Trump administration, stealing intellectual property.

In response, China on Friday proposed a list of 128 U.S. products as potential retaliation targets, according to a government statement.

Adding to risk-averse sentiment, Trump named John Bolton as his National Security Adviser late Thursday. Bolton is known for calls to use military force against both North Korea and Iran.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, ended down 0.4% at 89.10 by close of trade. It fell to its lowest since Feb. 19 at 88.98 at one point.

For the week, the index lost roughly 1.3%, its worst weekly performance in over a month.

The dollar was already on the back foot a day earlier after the Federal Reserve gave guidance on the pace of interest rate rises that was less aggressive than some investors had expected.

The yen, often viewed as a safe-haven currency in times of market turbulence and economic uncertainty, rose to a 16-month high against the dollar. The greenback was last down 0.5% at 104.74.

On the week, the yen rallied 1.1% against the buck.

The dollar also slipped 0.2% against the Swiss franc, another currency bought in times of market uncertainty.

Meanwhile, the British pound inched higher after Bank of England rate-setter Gertjan Vlieghe said that interest rates will probably need to rise once or twice a year over the next few years, comments that are likely to help cement investors’ expectations of a BoE rate hike in May.

The euro was also a shade higher against the dollar, with EUR/USD gaining 0.4% to 1.2352.

In the week ahead, rhetoric rather than economics could be the main driver of sentiment, as investors watch further developments amid a brewing trade war between the U.S. and China.

On the data front, the final reading of fourth-quarter U.S. growth will be the highlight of the holiday-shortened week. Markets stateside will remain closed on Friday for Good Friday.

Staying in the U.S., a number of Federal Reserve policymakers are due to make public appearances that may offer insight into the likelihood of higher interest rates in the months ahead.

A final reading on British fourth-quarter growth data and monthly inflation data from Germany will also be in focus.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday

Deutsche Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann is due to deliver a speech titled “New Momentum for Europe” at the central bank of Austria, in Vienna.

Later in the day, New York Fed boss William Dudley, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester and Fed Governor Randal Quarles will deliver remarks.

Tuesday

Spain will release preliminary data on consumer price inflation.

The U.S. Conference Board is to release data on consumer confidence.

Later on, Atlanta Fed boss Raphael Bostic is set to deliver comments at the Hope Global Forums Annual Meeting, in Atlanta.

Wednesday

The U.S. is to produce final data on fourth-quarter economic growth, followed by a report on pending home sales.

Thursday

Germany is to release preliminary inflation data.

The UK is to publish a final reading on British growth data for the fourth quarter.

In the U.S., weekly data on initial jobless claims and reports on personal income and spending, which includes the personal consumption expenditures inflation data, the Fed’s preferred metric for inflation, are on the agenda.

Canada is to release data on gross domestic product.

Friday

Global financial markets will stay closed for Good Friday.

Gold Prices – Weekly Outlook: March 26 – 30

MARCH 25, 2018 7:45 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Gold prices surged on Friday to settle at their best level in five weeks, as investors sought shelter in safe-haven assets amid the threat of a global trade war.

Gold futures finished at $1,349.90 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, marking a gain of $22.50, or 1.7%. It was the highest close since Feb. 20.

For the week, prices of the precious metal gained roughly 2.9%, the best weekly performance in over a month.

Market jitters intensified after President Donald Trump signed a memorandum that would implement tariffs on up to $60 billion in imports from China on Thursday.

The tariffs largely focus on technology sector goods and were intended to penalize China for, according to the Trump administration, stealing intellectual property.

In response, China on Friday proposed a list of 128 U.S. products as potential retaliation targets, according to a government statement.

Worries of heightened geopolitical tensions stoked further demand for the precious metal.

President Trump on Thursday named former ambassador John Bolton as his new national security adviser, succeeding Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. Bolton has previously advocated using military force against North Korea and Iran.

Gold is traditionally seen as a safe place to park assets in times of economic and geopolitical uncertainty.

The yellow metal also enjoyed a boost after the Federal Reserve gave guidance on the pace of interest rate rises that was less aggressive than some investors had expected.

Gold is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion. A gradual path to higher rates is seen as less of a threat to gold prices than a swift series of increases.

In the week ahead, rhetoric rather than economics could be the main driver of sentiment, as investors watch further developments amid a brewing trade war between the U.S. and China.

On the data front, the final reading of fourth-quarter U.S. growth will be the highlight of the holiday-shortened week. Markets stateside will remain closed on Friday for Good Friday.

Staying in the U.S., a number of Federal Reserve policymakers are due to make public appearances that may offer insight into the likelihood of higher interest rates in the months ahead.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday

New York Fed boss William Dudley, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester and Fed Governor Randal Quarles are all scheduled to deliver remarks.

Tuesday

The U.S. Conference Board is to release data on consumer confidence.

Later on, Atlanta Fed boss Raphael Bostic is set to deliver comments at the Hope Global Forums Annual Meeting, in Atlanta.

Wednesday

The U.S. is to produce final data on fourth-quarter economic growth, followed by a report on pending home sales.

Thursday

Germany is to release preliminary inflation data.

The UK is to publish a final reading on British growth data for the fourth quarter.

In the U.S., weekly data on initial jobless claims and reports on personal income and spending, which includes the personal consumption expenditures inflation data, the Fed’s preferred metric for inflation, are on the agenda.

Friday

Global financial markets will stay closed for Good Friday.

Trade Tariff Stare Down Triggers Gold Rally

Gary Wagner Friday March 23, 2018 18:34

This week was certainly ripe with major events, each of which has had a direct and immediate impact on gold. However, it was the escalation of trade tariffs proposed by President Trump this week that sent gold prices dramatically higher and equity pricing to its lowest level since November 2017.

An announcement by President Trump that he is proposing new tariffs to be levied against China sent shivers through U.S. equity markets yesterday, resulting in a decline of over 700 points in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. These concerns continued today with the Dow plunging another 400 points and gold gaining $20 per ounce today.

Releasing a Fact Sheet yesterday, President Trump upped the ante by adding direct penalties in response to China’s acts, policies, and practices involving the unfair and harmful acquisition of U.S. technology, as well as practices related to the transfer of this intellectual property. While signing the tariff orders yesterday, Trump told reporters, “This is the first of many.”

This action comes one day after the conclusion of this month’s FOMC meeting in which it was announced that the Federal Reserve would initiate a quarter percent rate hike this month. Fed Chair Powell also stated that they are staying the course in terms of their “Dot Plot” with plans for two more quarter percent rate hikes this year.

The combined result of both actions by the Federal Reserve and the current administration resulted in gold trading dramatically higher, gaining roughly $37 over the last three trading days.

Superpowers Don’t Blink

Whereas the FOMC’s rate hike announcement on Wednesday can be seen as a one and done event, the trade war dispute between the two superpowers is far from over. In fact, many believe it has just begun. It is hard to imagine that either of the two superpowers will back down immediately which suggests that this dispute will continue.

Even as China was issuing retaliatory actions to the tariff levied on steel and aluminum products from China, President Trump was initiating his next salvo with yesterday’s statement and massive tariff proposal. This proposal would impose tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese exports to the United States.

China responded immediately in a statement issued by the Chinese Ambassador to the United States. Cui Tiankai had this to say, “We don’t want a trade war, but we are not afraid of it. If somebody tries to impose a trade war on us, we will certainly fight back and retaliate. If people want to play tough, we will play tough with them and see who will last longer.”

China announced further escalation of the trade dispute and immediately outlined new import taxes of its own on products produced in the United States and sold to China worth approximately $3 billion.

According to CNN, Beijing’s retaliation so far has been limited. However, “It's possible that more measures will be announced when the scale and impact of the latest round of tariffs from Washington become clear. Still, China knows it has a lot to lose if things get out of hand.”

Regardless of whether this week’s actions by the United States and China result in a trade war, one thing is for certain; this issue will not be resolved overnight and could easily fuel a continuation of this week’s rally in gold over the next few weeks. We could see prices move substantially higher and break above the ceiling at $1400 per ounce.

Wishing you as always, good trading

Why Gold Is Immune To The Rising Interest Rates - Expert

Mar 23, 2018

Bill Baruch President, Blue Line Futures

Investors can expect gold to break out to $1,420 an ounce this year, said Bill Baruch, president of Blue Line Futures.Gold rallied this week despite the Fed announcing higher interest rates because investors were expecting the FOMC to adopt an even more hawkish stance, according to Baruch.Baruch told Kitco News that if gold can break out above the $1,351 an ounce resistance level, we may see further upside very rapidly.“I’m less worried about $1,400, I think we’ll see $1,420,” he said.

You Want a Gold Rally? You're Going to Get It - Doug Casey Editor

Mar 23, 2018

E.B. Tucker

For gold investors patiently awaiting a gold rally, Doug Casey’s right-hand man says the time has come. “This is exactly the time, that something unrelated sets off a gold rally. The charts say it’s time and the gold/silver ratio says its time, but it’s not going to come from where you think, it’s going to come from left-field,” said E.B. Tucker, editor of The Casey Report, and independent director of Metalla Royalty & Streaming Ltd. (MTA). The gold/silver ratio was designed at 15-1 but has continued to balloon over the years, getting as high as almost 90-1. In 2011, the ratio was 40-1 and has slowly widened back to 80-1. For Tucker, this ratio is a key indicator, noting it has only reached these levels four times in the last 20 years. “It is the number one indicator that we watch when we are looking at putting money to work in the space – the last time it happened, the HUI went on a tremendous run 150-200% – this indicator has been full proof the last 20 years,” he explained. Tucker added that he especially likes stocks that have been down on their luck, noting Coeur Mining (CDE) and First Majestic (AG) as his picks. “I’m going to tell you something shocking, When you see a big move in the sector, the stocks that have been the dogs actually move more than the stocks that have been really good,” he said.


March 23, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

Jun E-mini S&Ps (ESM18 -0.24%) this morning are down -0.26% at a 6-week low and European stocks are down -1.38% at a 13-1/4 month low as global stocks sell-off on heightened trade concerns. The trade conflict between the U.S. and China escalated after China unveiled tariffs on $3 billion of U.S. imports of pork, recycled aluminum, steel pipes, fruit and wine in retaliation for U.S. tariffs on some Chinese imports. The U.S. then declared a temporary exemption for the European Union (EU) and other countries on steel and aluminum tariffs, signaling out China as the main recipient of the tariffs. The U.S. will give the EU, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and South Korea until May 1 to negotiated levies on steel and aluminum. Increased supplies along with demand concerns have hammered copper prices with May COMEX copper (HGK18 -0.76%) down -0.25% at a 3-1/4 month low. Weekly Shanghai copper inventories rose +10,441 MT to a 11-1/2 month high of 307,435 MT. Asian stocks settled sharply lower: Japan -4.51%, Hong Kong -2.45%, China -3.39%, Taiwan -1.66%, Australia -1.96%, Singapore -2.00%, South Korea -3.37%, India -1.24%. Escalation of the trade war between the U.S. and China undercuts the outlook for global economic growth and fueled a slump in Asian equity markets.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.21%) is down -0.17%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD +0.30%) is up +0.25%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY -0.29%) is down -0.25% at a 16-1/2 month low as the slump in global equity markets boosts safe-haven demand for the yen.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 +0-020) are up +3.5 ticks at a 6-week high.

Japan Feb national CPI rose +1.5% y/y, right on expectations and the fastest pace of increase in 2-3/4 years. Feb national CPI ex fresh food & energy rose +0.5% y/y, right on expectations and the fastest pace of increase in 1-1/2 years.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic (voter) speaks about the economic outlook to the Knoxville Economic Forum, (2) Feb durable goods orders (expected +1.6% and +0.5% ex transportation, Jan -3.7% and -0.3% ex transportation), (3) Feb new home sales (expected +5.2% to 624,000, Jan -7.8% to 593,000), (4) Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari (non-voter) speaks in a moderated Q&A, (5) USDA Feb Cattle on Feed, (6) Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren (non-voter) speaks at the International Research Forum in Washington, D.C.

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: none.

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.

Equity conferences this week: Gabelli & Company Waste Conference on Fri.

Market Comments

Jun S&P 500 E-mini stock futures (ESM18 -0.24%) this morning are down -7.00 points (-0.26%) at a 6-week low. Thursday's closes: S&P 500 -2.52%, Dow Jones -2.93%, Nasdaq -2.50%. The S&P 500 on Thursday sold off to a 2-1/2 week low and settled sharply lower. Stocks were undercut by concerns about a trade war with China after the Trump administration unveiled tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports in retaliation for China’s intellectual-property violations. There were also heightened U.S. political risks after President Trump's lead lawyer fighting Special Counsel Mueller's Russia probe resigned. Stocks found some support from the +0.4 point increase in the U.S. Mar Markit manufacturing PMI to a 3-year high of 55.7, stronger than expectations of +0.2 to 55.5.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 +0-020) this morning are up +3.5 ticks at a 6-week high. Thursday's closes: TYM8 +18.00, FVM8 +9.75. Jun 10-year T-notes on Thursday rallied to a 1-1/2 month high and closed higher on increased safe-haven demand for T-notes on heightened U.S. political risks after President Trump's lead lawyer countering Special Counsel Mueller's Russia probe resigned. T-notes were also boosted by the sharp sell-off in stocks that boosted the flight-to-safety demand for T-notes. There were also reduced inflation expectations after the 10-year T-note breakeven inflation rate fell to a 1-week low.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.21%) this morning is down -0.157 (-0.17%). EUR/USD (^EURUSD+0.30%) is up +0.0031 (+0.25%) and USD/JPY (^USDJPY -0.29%) is down -0.26 (-0.25%) at a 16-1/2 month low. Thursday's closes: Dollar Index +0.074 (+0.08%), EUR/USD -0.0036 (-0.29%), USD/JPY -0.77 (-0.73%). The dollar index on Thursday recovered from a 1-month low and closed higher on carry-over support from Wednesday's FOMC meeting where the Fed was slightly more hawkish as they raised their 2019 and 2020 median fed funds rate forecasts. There was also weakness in EUR/USD after the Eurozone Mar Markit manufacturing PMI fell -2.0 to a 1-year low of 56.6. USD/JPY slid to a 2-1/2 week low as the slump in stocks boosted the safe-haven demand for the yen.

May crude oil (CLK18 +0.34%) this morning is up +23 cents (+0.36%) and May gasoline (RBK18+0.05%) is +0.0032 (+0.16%). Thursday's closes: May WTI crude -0.87 (-1.33%), May gasoline -0.0043 (-0.21%). May crude oil and gasoline on Thursday closed lower on a rebound in the dollar after the dollar index recovered from a 1-month low and moved higher. Crude oil prices were also undercut by the slump in the S&P 500 to a 2-1/2 week low, which undercut confidence in the economic outlook and energy demand.

Metals prices this morning are mixed with Apr gold (GCJ18 +1.02%) +14.8 (+1.11%) at a 1-month high, May silver (SIK18 +0.69%) +0.158 (+0.96%), and May copper (HGK18 -0.76%) -0.008 (-0.25%) at a 3-1/4 month low. Thursday's closes: Apr gold +5.9 (+0.45%), May silver -0.032 (-0.19%), May copper -0.0370 (-1.18). Metals on Thursday settled mixed with May copper at a 3-1/4 month low. Metals prices were boosted by fund buying of gold as long gold positions in ETFs rose to a 4-3/4 year high Wednesday and by the slump in the S&P 500 to a 2-1/2 week low, which boosted the safe-haven demand for precious metals. Copper prices tumbled on concern the action by the U.S. to impose tariffs on China will start a trade war that curbs economic growth and industrial metals demand.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

Children's Place (PLCE -2.48%) was downgraded to 'Underperform' from 'Buy' at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch with a price target of $115.

GoDaddy (GDDY -1.89%) was rated a new 'Buy' at Goldman Sachs with a price target of $81.

Cintas (CTAS -5.87%) rose 2% in after-hours trading after it reported Q3 revenue of $1.59 billion, above consensus of $1.57 billion, and forecast Q4 revenue of $1.63 billion to $1.65 billion, higher than consensus of $1.63 billion.

Nike (NKE -2.91%) rallied almost 5% in after-hours trading after it reported Q3 revenue of $8.98 billion, better than consensus of $8.85 billion.

Paycom Software (PAYC -2.02%) was downgraded to 'Hold' from 'Buy' at Stifel with a price target of $90.

KB Home (KBH -3.03%) lost 2% in after-hours trading after it reported Q1 revenue of $871.6 million, below consensus of $873.5 million.

American Eagle Outfitters (AEO -2.54%) was rated a new 'Buy' at Loop Capital Markets with a price target of $25.

SMART Global Holdings (SGH -5.99%) climbed nearly 9% in after-hours trading after it reported Q2 adjusted EPS of $1.73, well above consensus of $1.33, and said it sees Q3 adjusted EPS of $1.73-$1.82, higher than consensus of $1.26.

Akebia Therapeutics (AKBA -2.67%) dropped 8% in after-hours trading after it announced that ii had commenced an underwritten public offering of $85 million of its common stock.

At home Group (HOME -4.23%) rose almost 7% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 adjusted proforma EPS of 50 cents, higher than consensus of 35 cents, and said it sees full-year adjusted proforma EPS of $1.18-$1.24, better than consensus of $1.15.

Leap Therapeutics (LPTX -1.91%) sank 10% in after-hours trading after it announced that ii had commenced an underwritten public offering of $14 million of its common stock.

HTG Molecular Diagnostics (HTGM -1.28%) rose over 5% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 revenue of $7.9 million, stronger than consensus of $6.9 million to $7.2 million.

Progenics Pharmaceuticals (PGNX unch) plunged over 19% in after-hours trading after the FDA said they were extending the review for Progenic's Azedra drag for three months until July 30.

Trump edges closer to China tariffs; EU, S Korea exempted but not Japan

Today 06:48 am JST March 23th 2018

WASHINGTON

U.S. President Donald Trump lit a slow-burning fuse on Thursday to launch long-promised anti-China tariffs, but his actions appeared to be more of a warning shot than the start of a full-blown trade war with Beijing.

A presidential memorandum signed by Trump will target up to $60 billion in Chinese goods with tariffs over what his administration says is misappropriation of U.S. intellectual property, but only after a 60-day consultation period that starts once a list is published.

Trump also gave the Treasury Department 60 days to develop investment restrictions aimed at preventing Chinese-controlled companies and funds from acquiring U.S. firms with sensitive technologies.

The waiting periods will give industry lobbyists and U.S. lawmakers a chance to water down a proposed target list that runs to 1,300 products, many in technology sectors.

It also will create space for potential negotiations for Beijing to address Trump's allegations on intellectual property and delay the start of immediate retaliation against U.S. products from aircraft to soybeans.

"I view them as a friend" Trump said of the Chinese as he started his announcement. "We have spoken to China and we are in the middle of negotiations."

But his actions provoked a belligerent response from China's embassy in Washington, which vowed Beijing would "fight to the end" in any trade war with the United States.

"We will retaliate. If people want to play tough, we will play tough with them and see who will last longer," Chinese ambassador Cui Tiankai said in a video posted to the embassy's Facebook page.

Stocks fell sharply on Trump's announcement, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling nearly 3 percent. Major industrials that could become targets of Chinese trade retaliation slumped further, with aircraft maker Boeing down 5.2 percent and earthmoving equipment maker Caterpillar falling 5.7 percent.

In addition to punitive tariffs, Trump's memo also directed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to challenge China's technology licensing programs at the World Trade Organization. The WTO has repeatedly drawn the ire of the administration but it could provide a resolution that avoids a trade war.

The steps are based on the results of USTR's eight-month investigation of suspected misappropriation of American technology by China.

U.S. officials say that probe, undertaken through Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act, has found that China engages in unfair trade practices by forcing American investors to turn over key technologies to Chinese firms.

Trump, who earlier this month announced steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports to the United States, also wants the Chinese to take action that would lower the $375 billion goods trade deficit that the United States is running with China.

White House officials told a briefing ahead of the trade announcement that the administration was eyeing tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods. They said the figure was based on a calculation of the impact on the profits of U.S. companies that had been forced to hand over intellectual property as the price of doing business in China.

There was no explanation of the difference between that figure and Trump's $60 billion.

"Many of these areas are those where China has sought to acquire advantage through the unfair acquisition and forced technology transfer from U.S. companies," said Everett Eissenstat, deputy director of the National Economic Council.

In addition, Trump will also direct the U.S. Treasury to propose measures that could restrict Chinese investments in the United States, Eissenstat said.

China has threatened to target U.S. exports of agricultural commodities, in particular the $14 billion in exports of soybeans.

Reaction from U.S. industry groups sought to strike a balance, applauding the president for tackling the persistent drain of U.S. technology to Chinese competitors, but urging negotiations instead of tariffs.

"American business wants to see solutions to these problems, not just sanctions such as unilateral tariffs that may do more harm than good," said John Frisbie, president of the US-China Business Council.

Despite threats of retaliation, China has been keen to portray itself as a defender of globalization, a message that was reinforced in a call between President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron.

That said, there is a risk of a mounting cycle of retaliation. U.S. Trade Representative Lighthizer warned on Wednesday that Washington would take "counter measures" if Beijing targeted U.S. agriculture.

The biggest risk to world trade over the longer term may not be a tit-for-tat trade war, but the breakdown of global supply chains that feed companies such as U.S. auto giant General Motors Co and Apple Inc.

"Tensions are likely to escalate further, even without a full-scale trade war. This could disrupt global supply chains and damage investor sentiment," said Dario Perkins, head of global macroeconomics research at TS Lombard, a London-based economic consultancy.

Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs, which are tied to Section 232 of the 1962 Trade Expansion Act, go into effect on Friday. Canada and Mexico have been given initial exemptions from the 25 percent steel and 10 percent aluminum tariffs.

South Korea, the European Union and some other economies will be temporarily exempted from the tariffs, Lighthizer said Thursday.

Japan, however, was not on the list of exemptions Lighthizer unveiled during a Senate hearing.

Aside from South Korea and the European Union, the list includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada and Mexico.

This Is Gold’s Most Important Pressure Point This Year — Analyst

Anna Golubova Thursday March 22, 2018 20:41

(Kitco News) - Gold prices are going up this year and the U.S. dollar will be the yellow metal’s primary driver, said one precious metals expert.

“Which way the dollar moves … will be key for gold,” partner at Vertical Research Michael Dudas told CNBC on Wednesday. “[The U.S. dollar] has been the most important pressure on gold prices that we witnessed over the last few months.”

Dudas sees the U.S. dollar bottoming here, which will be very beneficial to gold prices. “From a longer-term perspective, gold prices have improved by $150-$200 over the last 12-15 months, while the dollar already peaked in late 2016 - early 2017,” he said.

This week, the markets have been dealing with a lot of jitters amid another Federal Reserve rate hike announcement on Wednesday and fears of trade war escalation.

At the end of the day, the outcome looks beneficial for gold, according to Dudas, who sees prices climbing all the way up to $1,400 this year. The expert’s near-term gold level also looks very promising, ranging between $1,350-$1,355.

The yellow metal has been stuck in the narrow trading range these past few months and traders have been anxiously awaiting a move in either direction.

Gold prices even disappointed in the beginning of February, when equity markets went through a correction but the precious metal failed to rally as much as expected.

“It has, I think, been a little bit frustrating for some of the gold bugs,” Dudas pointed out. “In this range of $1,320-$1,340, it's been kind of in a tight range, which again in these days relative to the equity market and bitcoin, is a pretty safe haven.”

Gold prices saw an uptick following the Fed rate hike on Wednesday and were able to hold firm throughout the day on Thursday. As Asian markets opened early on Friday, the precious metal began a modest climb, with spot gold on Kitco.com last seen at $1,335.30, up 0.49% on the day.

Bitcoin Falls After Exchange Platform Faces Regulatory Scrutiny

MARCH 22, 2018 8:57 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Bitcoin and other virtual currencies fell on Thursday, as regulation fears resurfaced amid news that exchange platform Binance was operating illegally in Japan.

Bitcoin was trading at $8723.3, falling 3.64% as of 8:56 AM ET (12:56 GMT) the Bitfinex exchange, not far from its session high of $9,088.40.The cryptocurrency has struggled to gain ground after falling to $6,000 in early February and is far from its peak of $20,000 in December.

Binance, one of the world’s largest crypto exchange platforms, could come under fire for operating in Japan without a license, according to Bloomberg.

The exchange has several staff in the country and Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) is planning to ask them to stop operating in the country. Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao said they were in dialogue with the FSA and had not “received any mandates” from the regulator.

Japan’s FSA has already issued licenses for 16 crypto exchanges, with another 16 given permission to operate without a license.

Meanwhile the UK is launching a cryptocurrency task force to assess the risks and benefits of virtual coins. The task force would include the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority, the country’s regulatory watchdog.

The decision follows news from the G20 summit earlier this week that central bankers and financial leaders were not seeking to regulate the digital currency and viewed them as assets more than currencies, but would continue to monitor the sector.

Other virtual currencies were lower, with rival Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, down 5.74% to $542.68 on the Bitfinex exchange. Ripple, the third largest virtual currency, slipped 6.82% to $0.65113 while Litecoin was last at $166.10, a decrease of 3.89%.

Fed: Tailwinds for dots – Nordea Markets

MARCH 22, 2018 9:13 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Analysts at Nordea Markets suggest that the Fed’s dot plot did show tailwinds for dots, but not enough to lift the median for 2018 to four rate hikes as they had expected.

Key Quotes

“FOMC members expect four rate hikes to be appropriate and 5 FOMC members expect three rate hikes, but the median remains at the latter because 2 FOMC members expect only one rate hike, while only 1 FOMC member expects five rate hikes. The average of the 2018 dots is up roughly half a rate hike.”

“The median 2019 and 2020 projections increased. The median dots show three rate hikes in 2019 and another two rate hikes in 2020. That is seven more rate hikes in total – still significantly above the market implied rate path. Moreover, the FOMC members expect to raise rates above the long-run rate, which was lifted by half a rate hike.”

“Chair Powell spent most of the press conference downplaying the median dots as any kind of policy guidance just as Chair Yellen before him. The projections are individual, he said, representing every FOMC member’s individual projections, which is then compiled into a median.”

“On the rate path, Mr Powell said that the FOMC members generally tried to find the middle ground rather than being hawkish or dovish. His press conference was generally short on surprises as well as new policy guidance.”


March 22, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

Jun E-mini S&Ps (ESM18 -0.74%) this morning are down -0.70% and European stocks are down -1.25%, both at 2-week lows, on global trade concerns as a person familiar with the matter said President Trump is set to announce today about $50 billion of tariffs against China over intellectual-property violations. European stocks were also under pressure on signs of a slowdown in manufacturing activity after the Eurozone Mar Markit manufacturing PMI fell -2.0 to 56.6, the slowest pace of expansion in a year. The weaker-than-expected economic data along with the slide in stock prices has fueled demand for government bonds as the 10-year German bund yield fell to a 2-month low of 0.551%. The BOE is expected to maintain its benchmark interest rate at 0.50% and keep its asset purchase target at 435 billion pounds following today's BOE policy meeting. Asian stocks settled mixed: Japan +0.99%, Hong Kong -1.09%, China -0.53%, Taiwan -0.05%, Australia -0.22%, Singapore -0.56%, South Korea +0.53%, India -0.39%. China's Shanghai Composite fell to a 2-week low on trade concerns and after the PBOC raised interest rates in open market operations when they sold 10-billion yuan of 7-day reverse repos at 2.55%, up from 2.50% in a previous operation.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.12%) is down -0.08% at a 1-month low as trade concerns weighed on the dollar. EUR/USD (^EURUSD -0.12%) is down -0.13%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY -0.36%) is down -0.42% at a 2-week low.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 +0-115) are up +12.5 ticks.

The Eurozone Mar Markit composite PMI fell -1.8 to 55.4, weaker than expectations of -0.3 to 56.8 and the slowest pace of expansion in 14 months.

The Eurozone Mar Markit manufacturing PMI fell -2.0 to 56.6, weaker than expectations of -0.5 to 58.1 and the slowest pace of expansion in a year.

The German Mar Markit/BME manufacturing PMI fell -2.2 to 58.4, weaker than expectations of -0.8 to 59.8 and the slowest pace of expansion in 8 months.

The German Mar IFO business climate fell -0.7 to an 11-month low of 114.7, stronger than expectations of -0.8 to 114.6.

The Japan Mar Nikkei manufacturing PMI fell -0.9 to 53.2, the slowest pace of expansion in 5 months.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) weekly initial unemployment claims (expected -1,000 to 225,000, previous -4,000 to 226,000) and continuing claims (expected -6,000 to 1.873 million, previous +4,000 to 1.879 million), (2) USDA weekly Export Sales, (3) Jan FHFA house price index (expected +0.4% m/m, Dec +0.3% m/m), (4) Mar Markit manufacturing PMI (expected +0.2 to 55.5, Feb -0.2 to 55.3), (5) Feb leading indicators (expected +0.5%, Jan +1.0%), (6) Mar Markit U.S. services PMI (expected +0.1 to 56.0, Feb 55.9), (7) Mar Kansas City Fed manufacturing activity (expected unch at 17, Feb +1 to 17), (8) Treasury auctions $11 billion 10-year TIPSm, (9) USDA Feb Cold Storage.

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: Nike (consensus $0.53), Carnival (0.43), Accenture (1.49), Michaels Cos (1.18), Conagra (0.57), Micron Technology (2.75), Cintas (1.27).

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: Sunlands Online Education Group (STG), Dropbox (DBX), PolyPid (POLY).

Equity conferences this week: Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Industrials Conference on Tue-Thu, ACI European Fuels Markets & Refining Strategy Conference on Thu, Gabelli & Company Waste Conference on Fri.

Market Comments

Jun S&P 500 E-mini stock futures (ESM18 -0.74%) this morning are down -19.00 points (-0.70%) at a 2-week low. Wednesday's closes: S&P 500 -0.18%, Dow Jones -0.18%, Nasdaq -0.47%. The S&P 500 on Wednesday closed lower on the U.S. Q4 current account deficit of -$125.2 billion, the largest deficit in 9 years, and a more hawkish Fed after the FOMC signaled a steeper path for future rate increases as they raised the 2019 median fed funds rate forecast to 2.9% from 2.7% and raised the 2020 median fed funds rate forecast to 3.4% from 3.1%. Stocks found support from the +3.0% increase in U.S. Feb existing home sales to 5.54 million (stronger than expectations of +0.4% to 5.40 million) and a rally in energy stocks after crude oil prices rose +2.57% to a 1-1/2 month high.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 +0-115) this morning are up +12.5 ticks. Wednesday's closes: TYM8 -3.50, FVM8 -1.75. Jun 10-year T-notes on Wednesday fell to a 3-week low and closed lower on the rally in crude oil prices to a 1-1/2 month high, which lifted inflation expectations as the 10-year T-note breakeven inflation rate rose to a 1-week high. In addition, the FOMC meeting results were hawkish as the FOMC raised its 2019 median fed funds rate forecast to 2.9% from 2.7% and the 2020 median fed funds forecast to 3.4% from 3.1%.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.12%) this morning is down -0.069 (-0.08%) at a 1-month low. EUR/USD (^EURUSD -0.12%) is down -0.0016 (-0.13%) and USD/JPY (^USDJPY -0.36%) is down -0.45 (-0.42%) at a 2-week low. Wednesday's closes: Dollar Index -0.588 (-0.65%), EUR/USD +0.0096 (+0.78%), USD/JPY -0.48 (-0.45%). The dollar index on Wednesday closed lower on the U.S. Q4 current account deficit of -$128.2 billion, the largest deficit in 9 years and on the FOMC's median forecast for only two more 25 bp rate hikes this year, less than some market projections for three more rate hike this year.

May crude oil (CLK18 -0.09%) this morning is down -24 cents (-0.37%) and May gasoline (RBK18-0.31%) is -0.0113 (-0.56%). Wednesday's closes: May WTI crude +1.63 (+2.57%), May gasoline +0.0471 (+2.38%). May crude oil and gasoline on Wednesday closed higher with May crude at a 1-1/2 month high and May gasoline at a 3-week high. Crude oil prices were boosted by a weaker dollar and the unexpected -2.62 million bbl decline in EIA crude inventories versus expectations for a build of +3.0 million bbl. Crude oil prices were also boosted by comments from President Trump reiterating that he may withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, which raises the risk of Iran’s crude exports being curbed by renewed sanctions.

Metals prices this morning are higher with Apr gold (GCJ18 +0.66%) +7.7 (+0.58%), May silver (SIK18 +0.71%) +0.111 (+0.68%), and May copper (HGK18 +0.25%) +0.008 (+0.25%). Wednesday's closes: Apr gold +9.6 (+0.73%), May silver +0.234 (+1.45%), May copper +0.0205 (+0.67). Metals on Wednesday closed higher on a weaker dollar and the stronger-than-expected U.S. Feb existing home sales, which was supportive for copper prices.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

Trivago NV (TRVG +1.96%) was down over 2% in pre-market trading after it was downgraded to 'Underweight' from 'Neutral' at JPMorgan Chase.

FCB Financial Holdings (FCB +0.45%) was rated a new 'Sell' at UBS with a price target of $48.

Booking Holdings (BKNG +0.27%) was rated a new 'Buy' at Mizuho Securities USA with a price target of $2,600.

Five Below (FIVE -2.67%) gained +0.3% in after-hours trading after it forecast Q1 net sales of $290 million to $294 million, higher than consensus of $284.6 million.

Guess? (GES +3.60%) jumped 9% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 adjusted EPS of 62 cents, higher than consensus of 54 cents, and forecast full-year EPS of 86 cents to 98 cents, the midpoint above consensus of 90 cents.

Evercore (EVR +0.43%) will replace Snyder's-Lance in the S&P MidCap 400 prior to the open of trading on Monday, Mar 26.

Tabula Rasa HealthCare (TRHC +0.60%) will replace Almost Family in the S&P SmallCap 600 prior to the open of trading on Monday, Apr 2.

ITT Inc (ITT +1.26%) was rated a new 'Buy' at D.A. Davidson with a price target of $60.

Herman Miller (MLHR -0.45%) fell 2% in after-hours trading after it forecast Q4 sales of $590 million to $610 million, below consensus of $612 million.

Altair Engineering (ALTR -1.22%) rose over 3% in after-hours trading after it forecast 2018 total revenue of $362 million to $366 million, better than consensus of $359.3 million.

Quad/Graphics (QUAD +0.30%) fell over 8% in after-hours trading after it acquired a majority stake in Rise Interactive, although no terms were mentioned.

Resonant (RESN -4.54%) slid almost 5% in after-hours trading after it announced that it will sell $20 million of its common stock in an underwritten public offering.

Gold Prices Spike As Fed Indicates That They Will Stay The Course

Gary Wagner Wednesday March 21, 2018

The much-anticipated FOMC meeting concluded today, resulting in an announcement that they will raise the Fed funds rate by 25 basis points (1/4%). This was in complete alignment with existing market sentiment. They also announced that they would stay the course and are projecting a total of two more rate hikes this year, for a total of three rate hikes in 2018.

Although the 25-basis point rate hike this morning was widely anticipated, and for the most part factored into existing market sentiment, market participants concerns about four rate hikes this year were alleviated.

The fact that the Fed indicated it would stay the course presented a much more dovish tone then many market participants feared. The net result of this more dovish tone was a tremendous upside spike in gold and silver pricing, along with downside pressure on the U.S. dollar.

While on the surface it might appear as though today’s $20 plus gain in gold was a little overdone given that the Federal Reserve did exactly what they indicated in earlier statements, the recent exaggerated selling pressure in gold resulted in an extremely oversold market.

This was the result of market participants positioning themselves for a more hawkish tone from the Federal Reserve and when that did not emerge a combination of short covering and repositioning moved gold prices substantially higher.

As of 4:00 PM Eastern standard time, gold continues to trade sharply higher, with gold futures currently up $21.50 at $1,333.40. Spot gold is presently fixed at $1,331.80, which is a net gain of $21.00 on the day.

Today’s sharply higher prices are composed of equal gains resulting from a weaker U.S. dollar and traders bidding up gold pricing. According to the Kitco Gold Index, dollar weakness is accounting for $10.50 (+0.80%) of today’s move, with the remaining $10.50 (+0.80%) gain directly attributable to buying.

One interesting facet of today’s sharply higher pricing was the fact that gold was trading up $15 before the Fed announcement was made. Today’s upside move truly began in overseas trading, as well as this morning in the U.S.

A critical difference between how traders reacted to the Statement made by the Federal Reserve today and reactions to other FOMC meetings was how traders were positioned prior to the conclusion of the announcement. Although gold prices spiked following the Fed announcement, the net change from gold pricing just before the conclusion was only about six dollars.

Wishing you as always, good trading.

An Economic Slowdown Is Coming And Gold Looks Good Says VanEck

Mar 21, 2018

Joe Foster Portfolio Manager

The bull market run that started in 2009 may soon be coming to a halt, meaning investors will rush back into safe havens like gold, said Joe Foster, portfolio manager at VanEck.“There’s many signs in the economy that we are towards the end of the cycle. So I think in the next 12 to 18 months, you’re going to see an economic slowdown, probably a fall in the stock market, and more risk coming back in to financial system that will drive gold much higher,” Foster told Kitco News.Foster noted that the spike in equities volatility back in February was the result of an “overdue correction” and not the beginning of a bear market, which is why safe havens were non-reactive. “[Investors] we’re worried about it, and so there was no need for a safe haven. To me, that was just a taste of things to come, but the generalist investor just took it as a normal correction,” he said. On bitcoin, Foster said that while cryptocurrencies are a legitimate asset class, they are not a substitute for gold due to their short history, lack of tangible value, and disqualification from being a store of value

Gold bull trend still intact coming into risk event FOMC

MARCH 21, 2018 10:43 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

A 25bp rate hike is priced in by the market as the focus is on the dot-plot.

Gold bulls attempt to break $1320 ahead of FOMC.

Gold is trading at around 1319.50 up 0.64% on Wednesday so far as the market is awaiting the end of the two-day FOMC meeting which will likely provide the market with the confirmation of a 25 bp rate hike. The market will pay attention if whether or not the FOMC still sees risks as “roughly balanced” and if the median dot-plot moves up, according to Deutsche Bank macro analysts.

In the New-York session, US Existing Home Sales came better than anticipated however the news was largely ignored as investors are on hold before the Fed provides more clues to the number of rates.

Gold has been supported at the $1306 level among trade wars, geopolitical tensions and a fresh new bear leg in the US dollar since the start of 2018. The precious metal and the greenback have been pretty much inversely correlated since the start of the year as shown in the graph below. (Green line is for the greenback).

Gold vs USD

Gold daily chart

Since mid-February gold has been consolidating in a descending wedge. On the daily chart, the price is finding support yet again at the 1306 support and also close to the 100 and 200-period simple moving average. A bull breakout would likely lead the price to 1340, previous swing high, resistance; followed by the 1360 region, high of the year. On the flip side, a bear breakout below 1306 would open the gates to 1285 which is the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement from the December 2017-January 2018 bull run. Further down the 1260 figure should provide support as well. Technically the bull trend is still intact.

Gold 4-hour chart

The yellow metal’s bulls are trying to break above the 100 and 200 SMA (4-hour). The RSI and the MACD have posted a positive divergence but bulls will need a close above the 200 SMA and 1330 psychological level to be out of the woods.


March 21, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

Jun E-mini S&Ps (ESM18 -0.01%) this morning are down -0.01% and European stocks are down -0.04% as the markets await the FOMC's first policy decision with Jerome Powell as Fed Chair. Losses were limited due to strength in energy stocks with May WTI crude oil (CLK18 +0.96%) up +0.93% at a 3-week high after API data late Tuesday showed U.S. crude inventories fell -2.74 million bbl last week. Crude prices also rallied after President Trump hinted at a withdrawal from a deal curbing Iran's nuclear program, which raises the risk of Iran's crude exports being stopped by sanctions. GBP/USD rallied +0.41% and the 10-year Gilt yield climbed to a 2-week high of 1.54% after the UK Jan unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to a 42-1/2 year low and after average weekly earnings rose at the fastest pace in over 2-years, which may prompt a hawkish response from the BOE when it meets tomorrow. Asian stocks settled mixed: Japan closed for holiday, Hong Kong -0.43%, China -0.29%, Taiwan unch, Australia +0.23%, Singapore -0.06%, South Korea -0.06%, India +0.42%. China's Shanghai Composite fell back from a 1-week high and closed lower as insurance stocks sold-off after a report from S&P Global Ratings said increased regulatory controls could cut the insurance sector's pace of growth in half over the next two years.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.22%) is down -0.25%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD +0.25%) is up +0.29% after the council of German economic advisers raised their German 2018 GDP estimate. USD/JPY (^USDJPY -0.16%) is down -0.17%.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 -0-045) are down -3.5 ticks.

The German government's council of economic advisers raised the German 2018 GDP forecast to 2.3% from a 2.2% estimate in Nov and said the ECB's exit from "extremely expansive" monetary policy is "overdue" in view of improved economic outlook and higher inflation.

The UK ILO unemployment rate unexpectedly fell -0.1 to 4.3% for the 3-monhts through Jan, stronger than expectations of no change at 4.4% and matched a 42-1/2 year low.

UK Jan average weekly earnings rose +2.8% 3-mo avg y/y, stronger than expectations of +2.6% 3-mo avg y/y and the fastest pace of increase in 2-1/3 years.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) weekly MBA mortgage applications (previous +0.9% with purchase sub-index +3.4% and refi sub-index -2.2%), (2) Q4 current account balance (expected -$125.0 billion, Q3 -$100.6 billion), (3) Feb existing home sales (expected +0.4% to 5.40 million, Jan -3.2% to 5.38 million), (4) EIA weekly Petroleum Status Report.

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: General Mills (consensus $0.78).

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.

Equity conferences this week: Oppenheimer Healthcare Conference on Tue-Wed, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Industrials Conference on Tue-Thu, ACI European Fuels Markets & Refining Strategy Conference on Thu, Gabelli & Company Waste Conference on Fri.

Market Comments

Jun S&P 500 E-mini stock futures (ESM18 -0.01%) this morning are down -0.25 points (-0.01%). Tuesday's closes: S&P 500 +0.15%, Dow Jones +0.47%, Nasdaq +0.31%. The S&P 500 on Wednesday closed higher on carry-over support from a rally in European stocks and on the +2.27% rally in crude oil prices to a 3-week high, which boosted energy stocks. Stocks were undercut by weakness in technology stocks after Oracle plunged 9% when it reported weaker-than-expected Q3 cloud revenue. There was also concern the Trump administration’s aggressive trade policies may start a trade war after reports that the White House plans to impose tariffs worth as much as $60 billion on Chinese products as part of a battle over safeguarding intellectual property.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 -0-045) this morning are down -3.5 ticks. Tuesday's closes: TYM8 -9.50, FVM8 -5.75. Jun 10-year T-notes on Tuesday slipped to a 1-week low and closed lower. T-note prices were undercut by the sharp +2.27% rally in crude oil to a 3-week high, which boosted inflation expectations, and by concern about the Tue/Wed FOMC meeting, which is expected to produce a rate hike and a more hawkish FOMC view on the path for the federal funds rate in 2018-2020.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.22%) this morning is down =0.228 (-0.25%). EUR/USD (^EURUSD+0.25%) is up +0.0035 (+0.29%) and USD/JPY (^USDJPY -0.16%) is down -0.18 (-0.17%). Tuesday's closes: Dollar Index +0.606 (+0.68%), EUR/USD -0.0093 (-0.75%), USD/JPY +0.43 (+0.41%). The dollar index on Tuesday closed higher on weakness in EUR/USD after the German Mar ZEW expectations of economic growth fell -12.7 to a 1-1/2 year low of 5.1, weaker than expectations of -4.8 to 13.0. There was also some short-covering in the dollar ahead of the Tue-Wed FOMC meeting where the Fed is expected to raise the fed funds target range by 25 bp and may signal support for four rate hikes this year.

May crude oil (CLK18 +0.96%) this morning is up +59 cents (+0.93%) at a 3-week high and May gasoline (RBK18 +0.76%) is up +0.0114 (+0.58%). Tuesday's closes: May WTI crude +1.41 (+2.27%), May gasoline +0.0376 (+1.94%). May crude oil and gasoline on Tuesday rallied to 3-week highs and closed higher. Crude oil prices were boosted by signs the global oil glut is shrinking faster than expected after data from Joint Technical Committee of OPEC and non-OPEC nations sowed global oil inventories in Feb were 44 million bbl above the 5-year average, down from 74 million bbl above in Jan. Gasoline prices were boosted by expectations for Wednesday's weekly EIA gasoline stockpiles to decline by -2.5 million bbl.

Metals prices this morning are mixed with Apr gold (GCJ18 +0.21%) +3.7 (+0.28%), May silver (SIK18 +0.37%) +0.075 (+0.46%), and May copper (HGK18 -0.30%) -0.005 (-0.15%) at a fresh 3-1/4 month low. Tuesday's closes: Apr gold -5.9 (-0.45%), May silver -0.140 (-0.86%), May copper -0.0440 (-1.43). Metals on Tuesday closed lower with Apr gold at a 2-week low, May silver at a 3-month low, and May copper at a 3-1/4 month low. Metals prices were undercut by a stronger dollar and increased copper supplies after LME copper inventories rose +3,200 MT to a 2-week high of 322,475 MT.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

Wellcare Health Plans (WCG -0.04%) was upgraded to 'Outperform' from 'Market Perform' at Wells Fargo Securities with a price target of $220.

Cboe (CBOE +1.16%) was downgraded to 'Underweight' from 'Neutral' at JPMorgan Chase with a price target of $106.

FedEx (FDX +0.95%) rallied 3% in after-hours trading after it reported Q3 adjusted EPS of $3.72, well above consensus of $3.11.

Whiting Petroleum (WLL +3.93%) was rated anew 'Buy' at Johnson Rice & Co with a price target of $58.

Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA +28.68%) lost 1% in after-hours trading after it said it will offer 7.5 million shares of its common stock via Citigroup, Leerink Partners, Cantor Fitzgerald, Credit Suisse, RBC Capital Markets, Guggenheim Capital and JMP Group.

MuleSoft (MULE +27.16%) gained almost 5% in after-hours trading after Salesforce.com agreed to buy the company for $6.5 billion.

AAR Corp (AIR +0.30%) dropped over 3% in after-hours trading after it reported Q3 sales of $456.3 million, weaker than consensus of $477.2 million.

Prothena Corp PLC (PRTA +2.05%) surged 15% in after-hours trading after it signed a R&D pact with Celgene where it received $100 million upfront and a $50 million equity investment from Celgene under an agreement to develop new therapies for a number of neurodegenerative diseases.

Arcadia Biosciences (RKDA -15.50%) rose 2% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 revenue of $1.4 million versus $540,000 in the year-earlier period.

DBV Technologies SA (DBVT -2.65%) slid 2% in after-hours trading after it announced it will offer $150 million in a global offering of new ordinary shares, in the form of American Depository Shares (ADS).

Steelcase (SCS -0.70%) lost over 3% in after-hours trading after it forecast Q1 adjusted EPS of 12 cents to 16 cents, below consensus of 19 cents.

TPG Specialty Lending (TSLX -0.17%) fell almost 4% in after-hours trading after it announced it launched a public offering of 3.75 million shares of common stock.

Laureate Education (LAUR -1.16%) rallied 5% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 adjusted Ebitda of $354.7 million, higher than consensus of $309.3 million.

Frank Holmes Sticks By $1,500 Gold Call

Mar 20, 2018

Frank Holmes CEO, U.S. Global Investors

Gold has historically been depressed ahead of Fed meetings but rallies immediately afterward, said Frank Holmes, CEO of U.S. CEO of U.S. Global Investors.“There’s a lot of parity trading that basically depresses gold going into that and after that, and after we finally get the rate rise behind this, gold pops,” Holmes told Kitco News.Holmes cited the Bank Credit Analyst, an independent macroeconomics research firm, on their bearish dollar stance.“It doesn’t matter what Kudlow says…he says the dollar is going to rise and gold will fall, and put tariffs on China. The tariffs on China are actually going to weaken the dollar, which is good for gold,” Holmes said.

Shark Tank's O'Leary Says The Good Old Days Are Back

Mar 20, 2018

Kevin O'Leary

The latest trends in the market have been down, signaling a new phase in which investors are more tepid, says Kevin O’Leary, Chairman of O’Shares ETFs, and star of the hit TV show “Shark Tanks.”

“You can start to see the old days are back, everything old is new again, volatility’s back, and investors have a chance to decide everyday whether to get in or out based on the tone of the market, which the trend lately has been down,” O’Leary told Kitco News.

O’Leary noted that four rate hikes this year could flatten the yield curve and signal a recession, an outcome that he sees as unlikely.

We inform that we have bought gold at market price with a stop at $ 1,307 an ounce, because we see that it rose in 5 waves, fell in 3 and must rise in 5 more waves.


March 20, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

Jun E-mini S&Ps (ESM18 +0.15%) this morning are up +0.06% as a +1.03% rally in May WTI crude oil (CLK18 +1.30%) lifts energy stocks. Pressure remains on technology stocks, though, following Monday's sell-off with Oracle down 8% in pre-market trading after it reported Q3 cloud revenue that missed estimates. Also, trade concerns remain forefront after the White House late Monday said it plans to impose tariffs worth as much as $60 billion on Chinese products as part of a battle over safeguarding intellectual property. European stocks are up +0.14% on strength in energy stocks, although gains were limited after a gauge of German investor confidence tumbled as the German Mar ZEW expectations of economic growth fell -12.7 to a 1-1/2 year low of 5.1. Asian stocks settled mixed: Japan -0.47%, Hong Kong +0.11%, China +0.35%, Taiwan -0.33%, Australia -0.39%, Singapore +0.43%, South Korea +0.45%, India +0.22%. China's Shanghai Composite erased early losses and closed higher after Chinese health-care stocks soared when Premier Li Keqiang, speaking at China's National People's Congress, said China will increase fiscal support for basic medical insurance and medical resources to cover more people. Japan's Nikkei Stock Index fell to a 1-1/2 week low, led by losses in technology stocks, following Monday's rout of technology stocks in the U.S.

The dollar index (DXY00 +0.37%) is up +0.33%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD -0.20%) is down -0.22%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY +0.40%) is up +0.33%.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 -0-060) are down -5.5 ticks.

The German Mar ZEW expectations of economic growth fell -12.7 to a 1-1/2 year low of 5.1, weaker than expectations of -4.8 to 13.0.

The German Feb PPI of -0.1% m/m and +1.8% y/y was weaker than expectations of +0.1% m/m and +2.0% y/y with the +1.8% y/y gain the smallest year-on-year increase in 14-months.

UK Feb CPI of +0.4% m/m and +2.7% y/y was weaker than expectations of +0.5% m/m and +2.8% y/y. Feb core CPI rose +2.4% y/y, weaker than expectations of +2.5% y/y and the smallest pace of increase in 7 months.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) FOMC begins 2-day policy meeting.

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: FedEx (consensus $3.11).

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.

Equity conferences this week: Morgan Stanley European Financials Conference on Tue, Telsey Advisory Group Spring Consumer Conference on Tue, UBS North American Power, Utilities, Alternative Energy and Environmental Services on Tue, Oppenheimer Healthcare Conference on Tue-Wed, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Industrials Conference on Tue-Thu, ACI European Fuels Markets & Refining Strategy Conference on Thu, Gabelli & Company Waste Conference on Fri.

Market Comments

Jun S&P 500 E-mini stock futures (ESM18 +0.15%) this morning are up +1.50 points (+0.06%). Monday's closes: S&P 500 -1.42%, Dow Jones -1.35%, Nasdaq -2.21%. The S&P 500 on Monday sold off to a 2-week low and settled sharply lower on weakness in technology stocks after Facebook plunged nearly 7% on reports of a data breach involving the profiles of 50 million users. There was also concern ahead of the Tue-Wed FOMC meeting, which is expected to produce a rate hike and a likely hike in the Fed's forecast for the federal funds rate. There was weakness in energy stocks as crude oil prices fell -0.45%.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 -0-060) this morning are down -5.5 ticks. Monday's closes: TYM8 +1.50, FVM8 +0.50. Jun 10-year T-notes on Monday closed higher on increased flight-to-safety demand for T-notes after the S&P 500 tumbled to a 2-week low. T-note prices were undercut by the Tue-Wed FOMC meeting, which is expected to produce a rate hike and a more hawkish FOMC view on the path for the federal funds rate in 2018-2020.

The dollar index (DXY00 +0.37%) this morning is up +0.297 (+0.33%). EUR/USD (^EURUSD-0.20%) is down -0.0027 (-0.22%) and USD/JPY (^USDJPY +0.40%) is up +0.35 (+0.33%). Monday's closes: Dollar Index -0.468 (-0.52%), EUR/USD +0.0045 (+0.37%), USD/JPY +0.09 (+0.08%). The dollar index on Monday closed lower on the political turmoil in the U.S. and on concern about upcoming U.S. tariffs. GBP/USD climbed to a 1-month high on news that the EU and UK have reached a broad agreement on the Brexit transition.

May crude oil (CLK18 +1.30%) this morning is up +64 cents (+1.03%) and May gasoline (RBK18+1.10%) is +0.0149 (+0.77%). Monday's closes: May WTI crude -0.28 (-0.45%), May gasoline -0.0198 (+1.01%). May crude oil and gasoline on Monday closed lower on concern U.S. crude oil production will continue to increase after Friday's data from Baker Hughes showed active U.S. oil rigs in the week of Mar 16 rose by 4 rigs to a 2-3/4 year high of 800 rigs. Crude oil prices were also undercut by the slide in U.S. equities and on expectations for Wednesday's EIA crude inventories to increase by +3.0 million bbl. A weaker dollar provided some support for crude oil prices.

Metals prices this morning are weaker with Apr gold (GCJ18 -0.38%) -4.8 (-0.36%), May silver (SIK18 -0.31%) -0.045 (-0.28%), and May copper (HGK18 -0.36%) -0.010 (-0.32%). Monday's closes: Apr gold +5.5 (+0.42%), May silver +0.053 (+0.33%), May copper -0.0255 (-0.82). Metals on Monday settled mixed. Metals prices were boosted by a weaker dollar and the sell-off in stocks, which boosted the safe-haven demand for precious metals. Metals prices were undercut by Chinese copper demand concerns after China Feb new home prices rose in only 44 out of 70 cities tracked by the government, down from 52 that rose in Jan.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

Oracle (ORCL -0.61%) sank 8% in pre-market trading after it reported Q3 total cloud revenue of $1.57 billion, below consensus of $1.59 billion.

Signet Jewelers Ltd (SIG +2.02%) was downgraded to 'Neutral' from 'Buy' at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.

Adobe Systems (ADBE -1.49%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Hold' at DZ Bank AG with a price target of $252.

Timken (TKR -0.11%) rose 6% in after-hours trading after it raised guidance in 2018 adjusted earnings per share to $3.50 to $3.60 from a Feb 7 outlook of $3.20 to $3.30.

Group 1 Automotive (GPI +0.18%) slumped nearly 10% in after-hours trading after it said its Q1 earnings may be hurt by weak market conditions, including pressure on used car margins.

HealthEquity (HQY -2.51%) gained 3% in after-hours trading after it forecast full-year Ebitda of $106 million to $111 million, better than consensus of $104.7 million.

Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA -1.97%) surged over 50% in after-hours trading after it reported positive results from a Phase 2 study of its Etrasimod in patients with Ulcerative Colitis.

Glycomimetics (GLYC -5.73%) fell almost 5% in after-hours trading after it said it will offer 4.5 million shares of its common stock via Jeffries and Cowen.

Blackberry Ltd (BB -1.78%) rose nearly 4% in after-hours trading after it said it was collaborating with Microsoft in a strategic partnership on Blackberry Enterprise Bridge, which will provide a secure way for joint customers to use Microsoft apps within Blackberry dynamics.

The corporate credit rating of Rent-A-Center (RCII -3.09%) was downgraded by S&P to CCC+ from B- with a negative outlook citing "heightened execution risk that could lead, longer-term, to an eventual restructuring."

Proteostasis Therapeutics (PTI -4.12%) dropped over 7% in after-hours trading after it said it will offer 9 million shares of its common stock via Leerink Partners and RBC Capital Markets.

Endologix (ELGX -1.89%) jumped 8% in after-hours trading after it reported positive results from its ENCORE analysis with polymer Endovascular Aneurysm repair using its Ovation Abdominal Stent Graft Systems.

Marinus Pharmaceuticals (MRNS -5.32%) climbed almost 4% in after-hours trading after Mizuho Securities rated the stock as a 'Buy' with a price target of $13.

Using Pivot Points In Forex Trading

By Troy Segal | Updated March 19, 2018

Trading requires reference points (support and resistance), which are used to determine when to enter the market, place stops and take profits. However, many beginning traders divert too much attention to technical indicators such as moving average convergence divergence (MACD) and relative strength index (RSI) (to name a few) and fail to identify a point that defines risk. Unknown risk can lead to margin calls, but calculated risk significantly improves the odds of success over the long haul.

One tool that actually provides potential support and resistance and helps minimize risk is the pivot point and its derivatives. In this article, we'll argue why a combination of pivot points and traditional technical tools is far more powerful than technical tools alone, and show how this combination can be used effectively in the forex market.

Pivot Points 101

A pivot point is used to reflect a change in market sentiment and to determine overall trends across a time interval, as though they were hinges from which trading swings either high or low. Originally employed by floor traderson equity and futures exchanges, they now are most commonly used in conjunction with support and resistance levels to confirm trends and minimize risk.

Similar to other forms of trend line analysis, pivot points focus on the important relationships between high, low and closing prices between trading days; that is, the previous day's prices are used to calculate the pivot point for the current trading day. Even though they can be applied to nearly any trading instrument, pivot points have proved exceptionally useful in the forex (FX) market, especially when trading currency pairs. forex markets are very liquid and trade with very high volume, attributes that reduce the impact of market manipulation that might otherwise inhibit the support and resistance projections generated by pivot points.

Pivot Points Plus Support/Resistance

While pivot points are identified based on specific calculations to help spot important resistance and resistance levels, the support and resistance levels themselves rely on more subjective placements to help spot possible breakout trading opportunities.

Support and resistance lines are a theoretical construct used to explain the seeming unwillingness of traders to push the price of an asset beyond certain points. If bull trading appears to rise to a consistent level prior to stopping and retracing/reversing, it is said to have met resistance. If bear trading appears to hit a floor at a certain price point before consistently trading up again, it is said to have met support. Traders look for prices to break through identified support/resistance levels as a sign of new trends developing and a chance for quick profits. A great number of trading strategies rely on support/resistance lines.

Calculating Pivots

There are several derivative formulas that help evaluate support and resistance pivot points between currencies in a forex pair. These values can be tracked over time to judge the probability of prices moving past certain levels. The calculation begins with the previous day's prices:

Pivot Point for Current = High (previous) + Low (previous) + Close (previous)

3

The pivot point can then be used to calculate estimated support and resistance for the current trading day.

Resistance 1 = (2 x Pivot Point) – Low (previous period)

Support 1 = (2 x Pivot Point) – High (previous period)

Resistance 2 = (Pivot Point – Support 1) + Resistance 1

Support 2 = Pivot Point – (Resistance 1 – Support 1)

Resistance 3 = (Pivot Point – Support 2) + Resistance 2

Support 3 = Pivot Point – (Resistance 2 – Support 2)

To get a full understanding of how well pivot points can work, compile statistics for the EUR/USD on how distant each high and low has been from each calculated resistance (R1, R2, R3) and support level (S1, S2, S3).

To do the calculation yourself:

Calculate the pivot points, support levels and resistance levels for x number of days.

Subtract the support pivot points from the actual low of the day (Low – S1, Low – S2, Low – S3).

Subtract the resistance pivot points from the actual high of the day (High – R1, High – R2, High – R3).

Calculate the average for each difference.

The results since the inception of the euro (January 1, 1999, with the first trading day on January 4, 1999):

The actual low is, on average, 1 pip below Support 1

The actual high is, on average, 1 pip below Resistance 1

The actual low is, on average, 53 pips above Support 2

The actual high is, on average, 53 pips below Resistance 2

The actual low is, on average, 158 pips above Support 3

The actual high is, on average, 159 pips below Resistance 3

Judging Probabilities

The statistics indicate that the calculated pivot points of S1 and R1 are a decent gauge for the actual high and low of the trading day.

Going a step farther, we calculated the number of days that the low was lower than each S1, S2 and S3 and the number of days that the high was higher than the each R1, R2 and R3.

The result: there have been 2,026 trading days since the inception of the euro as of October 12, 2006.

The actual low has been lower than S1 892 times, or 44% of the time

The actual high has been higher than R1 853 times, or 42% of the time

The actual low has been lower than S2 342 times, or 17% of the time

The actual high has been higher than R2 354 times, or 17% of the time

The actual low has been lower than S3 63 times, or 3% of the time

The actual high has been higher than R3 52 times, or 3% of the time

This information is useful to a trader; if you know that the pair slips below S1 44% of the time, you can place a stop below S1 with confidence, understanding that probability is on your side. Additionally, you may want to take profits just below R1 because you know that the high for the day exceeds R1 only 42% of the time. Again, the probabilities are with you.

It is important to understand, however, that theses are probabilities and not certainties. On average, the high is 1 pip below R1 and exceeds R1 42% of the time. This neither means that the high will exceed R1 four days out of the next 10, nor that the high is always going to be 1 pip below R1. The power in this information lies in the fact that you can confidently gauge potential support and resistance ahead of time, have reference points to place stops and limits and, most importantly, limit risk while putting yourself in a position to profit.

Using the Information

The pivot point and its derivatives are potential support and resistance. The examples below show a setup using pivot point in conjunction with the popular RSI oscillator.

RSI Divergence at Pivot Resistance/Support

This is typically a high reward-to-risk trade. The risk is well-defined due to the recent high (or low for a buy).The pivot points in the above examples are calculated using weekly data. The above example shows that from August 16 to 17, R1 held as solid resistance (first circle) at 1.2854 and the RSI divergence suggested that the upside was limited. This suggests that there is an opportunity to go short on a break below R1 with a stop at the recent high and a limit at the pivot point, which is now a support:

Sell short at 1.2853.

Stop at the recent high at 1.2885.

Limit at the pivot point at 1.2784.

This first trade netted a 69 pip profit with 32 pips of risk.

The reward to risk ratio was 2.16.

The next week produced nearly the exact same setup. The week began with a rally to and just above R1 at 1.2908, which was also accompanied by bearish divergence. The short signal is generated on the decline back below R1 at which point we can sell short with a stop at the recent high and a limit at the pivot point (which is now support):

Sell short at 1.2907.

Stop at the recent high at 1.2939.

Limit at the pivot point at 1.2802.

This trade netted a 105 pip profit with just 32 pips of risk.

The reward to risk ratio was 3.28.

Rules for the Setup

For shorts:

1. Identify bearish divergence at the pivot point, either R1, R2 or R3 (most common at R1).

2. When price declines back below the reference point (it could be the pivot point, R1, R2, R3), initiate a short position with a stop at the recent swing high.

3. Place a limit (take profit) order at the next level. If you sold at R2, your first target would be R1. In this case, former resistance becomes support and vice versa.

For longs:

1. Identify bullish divergence at the pivot point, either S1, S2 or S3 (most common at S1).

2. When price rallies back above the reference point (it could be the pivot point, S1, S2, S3), initiate a long position with a stop at the recent swing low.

3. Place a limit (take profit) order at the next level (if you bought at S2, your first target would be S1 … former support becomes resistance and vice versa).

The Bottom Line

Pivot points are changes in market trading direction that, when charted in succession, can be used to identify overall price trends. They use the prior time period's high, low and closing numbers to assess levels of support or resistance in the near future. Pivot points may be the most commonly used leading indicators in technical analysis. There are many different types of pivot points, each with their own formulas and derivative formulas, but their implied trading philosophies are the same.

When combined with other technical tools, pivot points can also indicate when there is a large and sudden influx of traders entering the market simultaneously. These market opens often lead to breakouts and opportunities for profits for range-bound forex traders. Pivot points allow them to guess which important price points should be used to enter, exit or place stop losses.

Pivot points can be calculated for any time frame. A day trader can use daily data to calculate the pivot points each day, a swing trader can use weekly data to calculate the pivot points for each week and a position trader can use monthly data to calculate the pivot points at the beginning of each month. Investors can even use yearly data to approximate significant levels for the coming year. The analysis and trading philosophy remains the same regardless of the time frame. That is, the calculated pivot points give the trader an idea of where support and resistance is for the coming period, but the trader must always be prepared to act – because nothing in trading is more important than preparedness.

Expect A Hawkish Fed; So Bad News For Gold? - CME Group

Mar 19, 2018

Erik Norland Senior Economist, CME Group

Due to a strong labor market and an expanding economy, markets should expect the Fed to err on the side of hawkishness, said CME Group’s Executive Director and Senior Economist, Erik Norland.“This is the Fed that’s obviously going to raise rates on Wednesday, I think there’s really no question about that, but I think they’ll be preparing the markets for several more increases this year, which are more or less priced in the Fed Funds futures,” Norland told Kitco News.Norland noted that while he expects interest rates to hike, he doesn’t think the yield curve will flatten until some time by 2019, by which time a recession could be imminent 12 to 18 months afterward. A flat or inverted yield curve has historically been an accurate predictor of impending recessions. On gold, Norland said that tightening monetary policy that is fully priced in could spell trouble for the yellow metal. “Normally, when the market goes from not pricing in rate hikes to suddenly pricing rate hikes, that’s very bad news for gold,” he said

Bitcoin Bull Expects More Pain Before Any Gain

MARCH 19, 2018 11:48 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Fundstrat Global Advisors’ strategist Tom Lee may be a long-term bull on bitcoin, but he’s bearish for the short term.

Lee thinks bitcoin may have to bottom out near its February low of about $5,900, before staging a rebound, according to the firm’s latest report.

That bottom’s likely to occur in March, which has been a weak month in six of the past seven years. By contrast, April has been a strong month five times during that period, according to the report.

Lee says cryptocurrency sentiment is so weak right now that bitcoin is extremely susceptible to any sign of government regulation, which is why it has fallen through one support level after another recently.

Bitcoin has lost about 60% of its value since setting a record high of almost $20,000 in December.

Lee still expect bitcoin to hit $20,000 by mid-year and $25,000 by year-end.

Gold recovers early lost ground, but lacks any follow through

MARCH 19, 2018 10:24 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

• USD selling reemerges and helps regain some traction.

• Reviving safe-haven demand provides an additional boost.

• Fed rate hike expectations seemed to cap additional gains.

Gold has managed to recover early lost ground to over two-week lows and is currently placed at the top end of its daily trading range.

A fresh wave of US Dollar weakness, led by an upsurge in the British Pound and the shared currency, was seen as one of the key factors underpinning demand for dollar-denominated commodities – like gold.

Adding to this, deteriorating investors' appetite for riskier assets, as depicted by a sea of red across global equity markets, provided an additional boost to the precious metal's safe-haven appeal and collaborated to the recovery move.

Despite supporting factors, the rebound lacked any strong conviction and was being capped by expectations for the upcoming Fed rate hike move. Apart from the FOMC decision, the central bank's updated economic projections, along with the new 'dot plot' would help determine the next leg of a directional move for the non-yielding yellow metal.

However, the recent worries over a potential global trade war might continue to dent investors' confidence and help limit sharp near-term downfall for the commodity, at least for the time being.

Technical levels to watch

Immediate resistance is pegged near $1316 level, above which a bout of short-covering could lift the metal back towards $1326 supply zone. On the flip side, $1308-07 area might continue to lend some immediate support and is closely followed by the very important 200-day SMA support near the $1305 region, which if broken would pave the way for an extension of the commodity's near-term depreciating slide.

Forex- U.S. Dollar Falls as Sterling Rises

MARCH 19, 2018 12:18 PM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – The U.S. dollar was lower against a basket of other currencies on Monday as news of progress on Brexit caused sterling to surge.

“Decisive steps” have been made between the United Kingdom and the European Union on the agreements of the Brexit transition deal, officials said on Monday.

The news prompted a fresh one-month high for sterling, with GBP/USD rising 0.65% to 1.4032 as of 12:17 PM ET (16:17 GMT), below it’s day high of 1.4079.

The draft withdrawal bill was jointly published by the UK and EU and showed that complete agreement had been reached on Phase 1 points negotiated in December in regards to financial settlement and citizens’ rights. Some issues around the Irish border still exist.

On Wednesday the Fed is expected to raise rates by a quarter point at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting. Investors will mostly be focusing on any indications as to the pace of monetary policy tightening for the remainder of the year.

Trade tariff uncertainty and worry that more officials could leave the White House has also weighed on investor’s minds.

The US dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, fell 0.38% to 89.46, a week and a half low.

The dollar was down against the yen, with USD/JPY falling 0.16% at 105.84.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took responsibility over the weekend for a loss of confidence in the government over a growing scandal than has seen his popularity plunge, but denied that he or his wife was involved in cronyism in a land deal with a school operator.

The scandal raised concerns over Abe’s ability to continue pursuing his Abenomics policies, which include aggressive monetary easing.

The euro was higher, with EUR/USD up 0.34% to 1.2332.

Elsewhere, the Australian dollar was weaker, with AUD/USD down 0.05% at 0.7710, while NZD/USD rose 0.22% to 0.7234.

Central Banks will be key this week – UOB

MARCH 19, 2018 12:42 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Analysts at UOB Group noted the various Central Bank highlights this week that are sure to be market moving events, potentially determining the medium term directions for the FX space.

Key Quotes:

"The Fed Reserve focus this week will be on the 20/21 Mar 2018 FOMC decision. Post-FOMC, we have various senior Fed officials speaking in public forums including Atlanta Fed President, Raphael Bostic (voter in 2018 FOMC), Minneapolis Fed President, Neel Kashkari (non-voter in 2018 FOMC) and Boston Fed President, Eric Rosengren (non-voter in 2018 FOMC) (all on 23 Mar, Friday).

We also have monetary policy decision by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand this week and no change in policy rate is expected as well. As for Australia, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) will release its March meeting minutes on Tue (20 Mar) while Bank of Canada Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins Speech will give a speech on 22 Mar.

BOE Financial Policy Committee reported that the UK current account is increasingly funded by capital inflows, and this increases reliance on the confidence of foreign investors. It noted that the UK banking system could continue to support the economy through disorderly Brexit, and Brexit risks do not warrant additional capital buffers for banks. The committee still sees material risks from the continuity of cross-border derivatives and insurance contracts after Brexit while it viewed that crypto assets do not currently pose risks to UK financial stability."


March 19, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

Jun E-mini S&Ps (ESM18 -0.61%) this morning are down -0.54% at a 1-week low and European stocks are down -0.71% as weakness in commodity prices leads mining stocks raw-material producers lower. Also, technology stocks are lower, led by suppliers to Apple, after people familiar with the situation said Apple is making a significant investment in the development of next-generation MicroLED screens. British Gilts fell and GBP/USD climbed +0.56% to a 3-week high after the WSJ reported an unidentified EU official said the EU and UK have agreed to broad terms on Britain's 2-year Brexit transition deal. Asian stocks settled mixed: Japan -0.90%, Hong Kong +0.04%, China +0.29%, Taiwan +0.17%, Australia +0.17%, Singapore -0.39%, South Korea -0.78%, India -0.76%. Weakness in Asian technology suppliers to Apple led Japanese stocks lower on a report that Apple is designing and producing its own device displays for the first time. China's Shanghai Composite recovered from a 1-1/2 week low and closed higher after China's incoming central bank governor, Yi Gang, signaled that he will maintain the course of financial liberation set forth by his predecessor Zhou Xiaochuan.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.04%) is down -0.10%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD -0.06%) is down -0.03%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY +0.14%) is up +0.12%.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 -0-045) are down -3.5 ticks.

China Feb new home prices rose in 44 of 70 cities tracked by the government, down from 52 that rose in Jan.

ECB Governing Council member Knot said, "the outlook is almost as good as it gets" for the Eurozone economy and the region is "projected to continue this firm path of growth."

Eurozone Jan construction output fell -2.2% m/m, the biggest decline in a year.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic (voter) speaks about the Community Reinvestment Act at a conference in Miami, (2) USDA weekly grain export inspections.

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: Oracle (consensus $0.72).

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.

Equity conferences this week: Morgan Stanley European Financials Conference on Tue, Telsey Advisory Group Spring Consumer Conference on Tue, UBS North American Power, Utilities, Alternative Energy and Environmental Services on Tue, Oppenheimer Healthcare Conference on Tue-Wed, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Industrials Conference on Tue-Thu, ACI European Fuels Markets & Refining Strategy Conference on Thu, Gabelli & Company Waste Conference on Fri.

Market Comments

Jun S&P 500 E-mini stock futures (ESM18 -0.61%) this morning are down -14.75 points (-0.54%). Friday's closes: S&P 500 +0.17%, Dow Jones +0.29%, Nasdaq -0.16%. The S&P 500 on Friday closed higher on the stronger than expected U.S. economic data that included the +1.2% increase in U.S. Feb manufacturing production (stronger than expectations of +0.5%), the +645,000 increase in the U.S. Jan JOLTS job openings to a record 6.312 million (stronger than expectations of +106,000 to 5.917 million), and the unexpected +2.3 point increase in the University of Michigan U.S. Mar consumer sentiment to a 14-year high of 102.0 (stronger than expectations of -0.4 to 99.3).

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 -0-045) this morning are down -3.5 ticks. Friday's closes: TYM8 -5.00, FVM8 -3.75. Jun 10-year T-notes on Friday closed lower on the +645,000 increase in U.S. Jan JOLTS job openings to a record high 6.312 million, and on the unexpected +2.3 point increase in the University of Michigan U.S. Mar consumer sentiment to a 14-year high of 102.0. A supportive factor was that U.S. Feb building permits fell a more-than-expected -5.7% to a 5-month low of 1.298 million.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.04%) this morning is down -0.094 (-0.10%). EUR/USD (^EURUSD-0.06%) is down -0.0004 (-0.03%) and USD/JPY (^USDJPY +0.14%) is up +0.13 (+0.12%). Friday's closes: Dollar Index +0.094 (+0.10%), EUR/USD -0.0015 (-0.12%), USD/JPY -0.33 (-0.31%). The dollar index on Friday rallied to a 2-week high and settled higher on stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data that included the Feb manufacturing production and Jan JOLTS job openings report, which were hawkish for Fed policy. There was also weakness in EUR/USD, which fell to a 2-week low after the Eurozone Feb CPI report was unexpectedly revised lower to a 14-month low of +1.1% y/y from the originally reported +1.2% y/y.

Apr crude oil (CLJ18 -0.51%) this morning is down -24 cents (-0.38%) and Apr gasoline (RBJ18-0.51%) is -0.0086 (-0.44%). Friday's closes: Apr WTI crude +1.15 (+1.88%), Apr gasoline +0.0211 (+1.10%). Apr crude oil and gasoline on Friday closed higher with Apr crude at a 1-week high and Apr gasoline at a 2-week high. Crude oil prices were boosted by the IEA's hike in its global 2018 oil demand forecast by +90,000 bpd to 1.5 million bpd. The main bearish factor was the rally in the dollar index to a 2-week high.

Metals prices this morning are lower with Apr gold (GCJ18 -0.16%) -1.3 (-0.10%) at a fresh 2-week low, May silver (SIK18 -0.20%) -0.002 (-0.01%), and May copper (HGK18 -1.26%) -0.036 (-1.14%). Friday's closes: Apr gold -5.5 (-0.42%), May silver -0.150 (-0.91%), May copper -0.0200 (-0.64%). Metals on Friday closed lower with Apr gold and May silver at 2-week lows. Metals prices were undercut by the rally in the dollar index to a 2-week high and by reduced safe-haven demand for precious metals prices which the rally in stocks. Copper prices were undercut by news that Shanghai copper inventories rose +28,899 MT to a 11-1/4 month high of 296,994 MT.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

Tesla (TSLA -1.31%) slid nearly 2% in pre-market trading after Goldman Sachs said the company's Model 3 deliveries will fall "well short" of consensus expectations

GrubHub (GRUB -0.32%) was downgraded to 'Hold' from 'Buy' at Stifel.

Zoetis (ZTS -0.11%) was downgraded to 'Equal-Weight' from 'Overweight' at Morgan Stanley.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals PLC (JAZZ +3.62%) was upgraded to 'Overweight' from 'Equal-Weight' at Morgan Stanley with a price target of $183.

Amdocs Ltd (DOX +0.50%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Hold' at Jeffries.

Newell Brands (NWL -0.80%) gained over 2% in after-hours trading after activist investor Carl Icahn reported a 6.86% stake in the company.

A10 Networks (ATEN +0.46%) was downgraded to 'Neutral' from 'Buy' at D.A. Davidson & Co.

Nobility Homes (NOBH -17.35%) may move higher this morning after Gamco Investors reported a 12.68% stake in the company.

Liberty Media (FWONA -0.39%) may move higher this morning after Gamco Investors reported a 10.96% stake in the company.

Moneygram International (MGI -5.08%) may move higher this morning after it reported Q4 revenue of $408.2 million, better than consensus of $303.8 million.

Geron (GERN -3.16%) slid 3% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 revenue of $0.19 million, weaker than consensus of $0.41 million.

Putin Easily Wins Another Six-Year Term, Firms Grip On Russia

Sunday March 18, 2018 15:34

Vladimir Soldatkin, Gleb Stolyarov

KEMEROVO, Russia (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin won a landslide re-election victory on Sunday, extending his rule over the world’s largest country for another six years at a time when his ties with the West are on a hostile trajectory.

Putin’s thumping victory will extend his total time in office to nearly a quarter of a century, until 2024, by which time he will be 71. Only Soviet dictator Josef Stalin ruled for longer. Putin has promised to use his new term to beef up Russia’s defenses against the West and to raise living standards.

In a widely-expected result, an exit poll by pollster VTsIOM showed Putin, who has already dominated the political landscape for the last 18 years, had won 73.9 percent of the vote. Backed by state TV, the ruling party, and credited with an approval rating around 80 percent, his victory was never in doubt.

None of the seven candidates who ran against him posed a threat, and opposition leader Alexei Navalny was barred from running. Critics alleged that officials had compelled people to come to the polls to ensure that voter boredom at the one-sided contest did not lead to a low turnout.

Russia’s Central Election Commission recognized that there were some irregularities, but were likely to dismiss wider criticism and declare the overall result legitimate.

Putin loyalists said the result was a vindication of his tough stance towards the West.

“I think that in the United States and Britain they’ve understood they cannot influence our elections,” Igor Morozov, a member of the upper house of parliament,” said on state television. “Our citizens understand what sort of situation Russian finds itself in today.”

The immediate question is if and when opponents like Navalny organize protests, citing widespread fraud, and how large and sustained those protests will be. A senior opposition politician has warned they could descend into street clashes if police crack down too hard on demonstrators.

The longer-term question is whether Putin will soften his anti-Western rhetoric now the election is won.

HOSTILE RELATIONS

Putin’s bellicose language reached a crescendo before the election in a state-of-the-nation speech when he unveiled new nuclear weapons, saying they could hit almost any point in the world and evade a U.S.-built missile shield.

At odds with the West over Syria, Ukraine, allegations of Russian election meddling and cyber attacks, and the poisoning in Britain of a former Russian spy and his daughter, relations between Moscow and the West are at a post Cold War low.

Putin, 65, has been in power, either as president or prime minister, since 2000.

Allies laud the former KGB agent as a father-of-the-nation figure who has restored national pride and expanded Moscow’s global clout with interventions in Syria and Ukraine.

Critics accuse him of overseeing a corrupt authoritarian system and of illegally annexing Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014, a move that isolated Russia internationally.

Western sanctions on Russia imposed over Crimea and Moscow’s backing of a pro-Russian separatist uprising in eastern Ukraine remain in place and have damaged the Russian economy, which only rebounded last year after a prolonged downturn.

Britain and Russia are also locked in a diplomatic dispute over the spy poisoning incident, and Washington is eyeing new sanctions on Moscow over allegations it interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, something Russia flatly denies.

Officials and analysts say there is little agreement among Putin’s top policymakers on an economic strategy for his new term.

How long Putin wants to stay in power is uncertain.

The constitution limits the president to two successive terms, obliging him to step down at the end of his new mandate — as he did in 2008 after serving two four-year terms. The presidential term was extended from four to six years, starting in 2012.

Although Putin has six years to consider a possible successor, uncertainty about his long-term future is a potential source of instability in a fractious ruling elite that only he can keep in check.

Kremlin insiders say Putin has selected no heir apparent, and that any names being circulated are the product of speculation, not knowledge of Putin’s thinking.

“The longer he stays in power, the harder it will be to exit,” said Andrei Kolesnikov, senior fellow at the Carnegie Moscow Center, a think tank. “How can he abandon such a complicated system, which is essentially his personal project?”

Fibonacci And The Golden Ratio

By Justin Kuepper

There is a special ratio that can be used to describe the proportions of everything from nature's smallest building blocks, such as atoms, to the most advanced patterns in the universe, such as unimaginably large celestial bodies. Nature relies on this innate proportion to maintain balance, but the financial markets also seem to conform to this 'golden ratio.' Here we take a look at some technical analysis tools that have been developed to take advantage of it.

The Mathematics

Mathematicians, scientists and naturalists have known this ratio for years. It's derived from something known as the Fibonacci sequence, named after its Italian founder, Leonardo Fibonacci (whose birth is assumed to be around 1175 AD and death around 1250 AD). Each term in this sequence is simply the sum of the two preceding terms (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc.).

But this sequence is not all that important; rather, it is the quotient of the adjacent terms that possesses an amazing proportion, roughly 1.618, or its inverse 0.618. This proportion is known by many names: the golden ratio, the golden mean, PHI and the divine proportion, among others. So, why is this number so important? Well, almost everything has dimensional properties that adhere to the ratio of 1.618, so it seems to have a fundamental function for the building blocks of nature.

Prove It!

Don't believe it? Take honeybees, for example. If you divide the female bees by the male bees in any given hive, you will get 1.618. Sunflowers, which have opposing spirals of seeds, have a 1.618 ratio between the diameters of each rotation. This same ratio can be seen in relationships between different components throughout nature.

Still don't believe it? Need something that's easily measured? Try measuring from your shoulder to your fingertips, and then divide this number by the length from your elbow to your fingertips. Or try measuring from your head to your feet, and divide that by the length from your belly button to your feet. Are the results the same? Somewhere in the area of 1.618? The golden ratio is seemingly unavoidable.

But that doesn't mean that it works in finance … does it? Actually, the markets have the very same mathematical base as these natural phenomena. Below we will examine some ways in which this ratio can be applied to finance, and we'll show you some charts to prove it!

The Fibonacci Studies and Finance

When used in technical analysis, the golden ratio is typically translated into three percentages: – 38.2%, 50% and 61.8%. However, more multiples can be used when needed, such as 23.6%, 161.8%, 423% and so on. There are four primary methods for applying the Fibonacci sequence to finance: retracements, arcs, fans and time zones.

1. Fibonacci Retracements

Fibonacci retracements use horizontal lines to indicate areas of support or resistance. They are calculated by first locating the high and low of the chart. Then five lines are drawn: the first at 100% (the high on the chart), the second at 61.8%, the third at 50%, the fourth at 38.2% and the last one at 0% (the low on the chart). After a significant price movement up or down, the new support and resistance levels are often at or near these lines.

Created Using MetaTrader

2. Fibonacci Arcs

Finding the high and low of a chart is the first step to composing Fibonacci arcs. Then, with a compass-like movement, three curved lines are drawn at 38.2%, 50% and 61.8%, from the desired point. These lines anticipate the support and resistance levels, and areas of ranging.

Created Using MetaTrader

3. Fibonacci Fans

Fibonacci fans are composed of diagonal lines. After the high and low of the chart is located, an invisible vertical line is drawn though the rightmost point. This invisible line is then divided into 38.2%, 50% and 61.8%, and lines are drawn from the leftmost point through each of these points. These lines indicate areas of support and resistance.

Created Using MetaTrader

4. Fibonacci Time Zones

Unlike the other Fibonacci methods, time zones are a series of vertical lines. They are composed by dividing a chart into segments with vertical lines spaced apart in increments that conform to the Fibonacci sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc.). These lines indicate areas in which major price movement can be expected.

Created Using MetaTrader

The Fibonacci studies are great indicators of likely areas of support and resistance, but they work best when combined with other forms of technical analysis.

Conclusion

These Fibonacci studies are not intended to provide the primary indications for timing the entry and exit of a stock; however, they are useful for estimating areas of support and resistance. Many people use combinations of Fibonacci studies to obtain a more accurate forecast. For example, a trader may observe the intersecting points in a combination of the Fibonacci arcs and resistances. Many more use the Fibonacci studies in conjunction with other forms of technical analysis. For example, the Fibonacci studies are often used with Elliott Waves to predict the extent of the retracements after different waves. Hopefully you can find your own niche use for the Fibonacci studies, and add it to your set of investment tools!

Waiting on The Fed

Gary Wagner Friday March 16, 2018

Although the probability of a rate hike at the conclusion of this month’s FOMC meeting next week is extremely high, traders, analysts, and investors continue to have a wait-and-see attitude.

The countdown clock on the CME’s FedWatch tool currently reads: 4 days, 19 hours, 9 minutes and counting, as of 3:51 PM Eastern standard time today.

Currently, the probability that the Fed will announce a rate hike stands at 94.4%, according to this tool. The current estimate of 94.4% predicts a 25-basis point hike (1/4 %) which would take Fed funds rate from 125 – 150 to 150 – 175.

Moreover, there’s only a 5.6% probability that the current Fed funds rate will stay intact. This number is down considerably from the probability given from the FedWatch tool one month ago on February 16. At that time, it was indicated that there was an 18.3% chance that the Federal Reserve would stay the course in keeping interest rates where they are.

Last month this tool predicted an 81.7% probability that a rate hike would result from this month’s meeting.

The belief that an interest rate hike is inevitable, coupled with a consistent and strong risk-on environment favoring equities, a strengthening U.S. dollar, as well as a geopolitical environment that is relatively muted and calm, continue to pressure the safe haven asset group.

The net result of these factors is that gold continues to lose ground in its fourth consecutive week of lower pricing. Gold futures have lost approximately $10 in trading this week and are currently fixed at $1313.50, this basis most active April futures contract.

An Ascending Bottom with Quadruple Top

The last week in which gold closed higher was the week of February 12. During that week gold pricing hit an intra-week high, just shy of 1365, creating a double top. A case can be made by market technicians that, in fact, February’s top was the third occurrence, creating a triple top if you add last year’s rally in September which concluded at 1362.

But truly this price point has created a quadruple top when factoring in the most significant rally of the last three years. This rally began in 2015 and concluded during July and August 2016 with intra-week highs occurring at $1373 to $1378 on three separate occasions during that time.

The rally of 2016 was the most significant rally since the multiyear correction in gold which began after gold traded to its all-time high at 1900 during the middle of 2011.

The rally, which began in January of 2016, was the first occurrence of a higher high than the previous high. This gave technical evidence that the extended, multiyear correction had concluded.

Since that point, traders have witnessed gold pricing moving to higher ground as indicated by a series of higher lows. However, the highs achieved in 2016 have still been an unobtainable price point.

Wishing you as always, good trading,

What Next Week's Fed Meeting Will Mean for Gold

Mar 16, 2018

Peter Hug Global Trading Director, Kitco Metals

Gold could drop $5 to $6 an ounce upon the Fed’s announcement next week, then rebound quickly, said Peter Hug, Director of Global Trading at Kitco Metals.“I am not in the camp that the Fed is going to be aggressive this year, on a four-rate [hike], increased kind of tempo, I just think there’s too many headwinds out there that’s going to give the Fed pause,” Hug told Kitco News.Hug noted that during past rate hike cycles, gold has typically fallen into the announcement and then climbed back afterward.

Higher Dollar Means Doom For Interest Rates, Doom For The Fed - Expert

Mar 16, 2018

The Fed is likely to stay with three hikes this year, while trying to suppress the dollar from climbing higher, said Todd ‘Bubba’ Horwitz of bubbatrading.com.“I think what [the Fed] has done here now is they’ve now lost control of the bond market, so interest rates are rising, and their last hope is to try to manipulate the dollar, and they’re trying to suppress that dollar,” Horwitz told Kitco News, adding that a higher dollar has the same effect on the economy as tightening monetary policy. Horwitz noted that he is bullish on gold, putting a lower bound at $1,240 an ounce. “I do like gold, and I’m a buyer of it, you have to be prepared to sit back and hold it here, just in case, because there’s a good chance that we break $1,300, it could test that $1,240 level,” he said. “I think gold has already priced in a higher dollar, so I don’t think the dollar itself will affect the price of gold right now.

Ring Of Fire May Be In The Great North, Says Minister

Mar 16, 2018

Wally Schumann Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, Northwest Territories

Miners have good reason to be interested in the north, according to Wally Schumann, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment of the Northwest Territories.The Norwest Territories has traditionally been a gold-heavy area, but now boasts access to a diverse range of industrial metals, as well as three operating diamond mines, making the area the world’s third largest producer of diamonds. “We have 1.3 million square kilometers of area, so that’s a large piece of property. We believe there’s an abundance of minerals that is richer than the Ring of Fire in Ontario,” Schumann told Kitco News.

Too Many CEOs Are Overthinking Silver Price Says Fortuna’s Ganoza

Mar 16, 2018

Jorge Ganoza

Fortuna Silver’s CEO, Jorge Ganoza, isn’t worried so much about where price of silver as much as how his company can turn a profit from current conditions. “I’m a promoter of keeping my costs low. Silver and gold prices will do what they’ll do, and my work is to provide the investor with the best optionality on silver and gold,” Ganoza told Kitco News on the sidelines of the Gold Stock Analyst Investor Day conference. Ganoza noted that a low silver environment provides him with the opportunity to search for potential acquisitions at reasonable valuations.

Crude Oil Prices Settle Higher Despite Increase in US Oil Rigs

MARCH 16, 2018 2:38 PM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – WTI crude oil prices notched a second straight weekly win after settling nearly 2% higher on Friday despite data showing the number of U.S. oil rigs resumed their advance, pointing to a potential uptick in U.S. oil output.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for April delivery rose $1.16 to settle at $62.41 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, Brent rose 1.01% to trade at $66.13 a barrel.

The number of oil rigs operating in the U.S. rose by four to 800, according to data from energy services firm Baker Hughes.

That failed, however, to weigh oil prices as investors continued to focus on geopolitical uncertainties that could disrupt global supplies, boosting oil prices.

“You’ve got a lot going on, on the world stage,” Tamar Essner, an analyst at Nasdaq Inc. in New York, told Bloomberg by telephone. “The more unexpected elements of this week’s developments were on the macro, international, geopolitical front. We are setting ourselves up for a little volatility ahead.”

The more than 2% surge on Friday, however, caught many by surprise, who were at loss to explain the exact reason for the surge. Some, however, speculated that the move higher was on speculation Saudi Arabia is threatening to acquire nuclear weapons to counter the perceived Iranian threat.

Media reports said a “60 Minutes” news segment with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman set to air Sunday, would show the Prince is in favor of obtaining nukes if Iran developed its own.

The strong end to the week for oil prices comes as traders mulled over several bearish reports this week from OPEC, the International Energy Agency and Energy Information Administration warning that U.S. production was set to ramp up in the coming months.

U.S. oil output hit a record last week rising to 10.38 million barrels per day, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Gold’s Lustre Weakens as Traders See 93% Chance of Rate Hike Next Week

MARCH 16, 2018 1:41 PM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Gold drifted lower as the dollar strengthen amid expectations that the Federal Reserve will hikes rates next week for the first time this year.

Gold futures for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell by $5.60, or 0.43%, to $1,312.20 a troy ounce.

Gold prices were set for a fourth-straight weekly slump as investors remained wary of buying the dips in the precious metal ahead of the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting which gets underway March 20.

According to Investing.com’s Fed rate monitor, traders see a 93% chance the Federal Reserve will hike rates by 0.25% to a range of 1.50% to 1.75% on March 21.

While many believe that the Federal Reserve March rate hike has been priced in, the central’s bank’s rate-hike projections or so-called dot-plots – illustrating where individual FOMC members believe rates are heading – are expected to be shifted upward, pointing to a faster pace of rate hikes.

In December, the Federal Reserve’s dot-plots indicated that the majority of FOMC members believed that three-rate hikes were appropriate for 2018.

Gold tends to come under pressure to moves higher in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

Also adding to dollar weakness was falling safe-haven demand as investor fears that chief of staff, John Kelly, was set to resign eased amid a Wall Street Journal report suggested that President Donald Trump and John Kelly have struck a “truce.”

In other precious metal trade, silver futures fell 0.90% to $16.28 a troy ounce, while platinum futures lost 0.54% to $950.20 an ounce.

Copper fell 0.70% to $3.10, while natural gas was flat at $2.683.

March 16, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

Jun E-mini S&Ps (ESM18 +0.04%) this morning are up +0.06% and European stocks are up +0.45%. Slack inflation pressures in the Eurozone fueled a rally in 10-year German bunds to a 1-3/4 month high, which is underpinning stock prices. Eurozone Feb CPI was unexpectedly revised lower to 1.1% y/y from 1.2% y/y, the smallest pace of increase in 14-months, and ECB Executive Board member Praet warned against an early shift in guidance on stimulus as increased labor supply in the Eurozone may be holding down wages and therefore inflation. Asian stocks settled mixed: Japan -0.58%, Hong Kong -0.12%, China -0.65%, Taiwan +0.08%, Australia +0.48%, Singapore -0.16%, South Korea +0.04%, India -1.51%. China's Shanghai Stock Index fell to a 1-week low and was undercut on concerns about the Trump administration's trade policies, while Japanese stocks retreated after Japan Jan industrial production was revised lower to -6.8% m/m, the largest decline in 6-3/4 years, and after USD/JPY fell to a 1-week low, which undercut exporter stocks as the stronger yen reduces the earnings prospects of exporters.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.16%) is down -0.20%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD +0.12%) is up +0.20%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY -0.63%) is down -0.67% at a 1-week low.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 +0-015) are up +2 ticks.

ECB Executive Board member Praet said policy makers have been surprised by the number of people joining the workforce, which may mute the upward pressure on wages and therefore inflation so he "would not want to revise guidance too early, because that could send wrong signals about the end of our net asset purchases."

Eurozone Feb CPI was unexpectedly revised lower to +1.1% y/y from the originally reported +1.2% y/y, the smallest pace of increase in 14 months. Feb core CPI was left unch at +1.0% y/y.

Eurozone Q4 labor costs rose +1.5% y/y, a slower pace than the +1.6% y/y increase in Q3.

Japan Jan industrial production was revised lower to -6.8% m/m from the originally reported -6.6% m/m, the biggest monthly decline in 6-3/4 years.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) Feb housing starts (expected -2.7% to 1.290 million, Jan +9.7% to 1.326 million), (2) Feb industrial production (expected +0.4%, Jan -0.1%), (3) Jan JOLTS job openings (expected +89,000 to 5.900 million, Dec -167,000 to 5.811 million), (4) preliminary-March University of Michigan U.S. consumer sentiment index (expected -0.5 to 99.2, Feb +4.0 to 99.7).

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: Tiffany (consensus $1.64).

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.

Equity conferences this week: none.


Market Comments

Jun S&P 500 E-mini stock futures (ESM18 +0.04%) this morning are up +1.75 points (+0.06%). Thursday's closes: S&P 500 -0.08%, Dow Jones +0.47%, Nasdaq -0.14%. The S&P 500 on Thursday closed slightly lower on political concerns after the report that special counsel Mueller subpoenaed the Trump Organization to turn over documents related to President Trump's businesses. Stocks were also undercut by trade concerns after comments from White House economic adviser Kudlow who said China has earned a "tough response" for not playing by the rules of trade. Stocks received a boost from the +9.4 point increase in the U.S. Mar Empire manufacturing index to a 5-month high of 22.5, stronger than expectations of +1.9 to 15.0.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 +0-015) this morning are up +2 ticks. Thursday's closes: TYM8 -1.50, FVM8 -1.75. Jun 10-year T-notes on Thursday closed slightly lower on the the stronger-than-expected +9.4 point increase in the U.S. Mar Empire manufacturing index to a 5-month high. T-notes received carry-over support from a rally in German bund prices to a 1-1/2 month high.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.16%) this morning is down -0.181 (-0.20%). EUR/USD (^EURUSD+0.12%) is up +0.0024 (+0.20%) and USD/JPY (^USDJPY -0.63%) is down -0.71 (-0.67%) at a 1-week low. Thursday's closes: Dollar Index +0.435 (+0.48%), EUR/USD -0.0063 (-0.51%), USD/JPY +0.02 (+0.02%). The dollar index on Thursday closed higher on comments from incoming White House economic adviser Kudlow who said, "I have no reason to believe that President Trump opposes a sound and stable dollar" and on the stronger-than-expected Mar Empire manufacturing index.

Apr crude oil (CLJ18 +0.21%) this morning is up +17 cents (+0.28%) and Apr gasoline (RBJ18-0.17%) is -0.0032 (-0.17%). Thursday's closes: Apr WTI crude +0.23 (+0.38%), Apr gasoline +0.0005 (+0.03%). Apr crude oil and gasoline on Thursday closed higher on increased compliance with OPEC crude production cuts as OPEC compliance in Feb rose to a record 147% from 137% in Jan. In addition, non-OPEC compliance rose to 80% in Feb from 77% compliance in Jan. Crude oil prices were undercut by a stronger dollar.

Metals prices this morning are higher with Apr gold (GCJ18 +0.20%) +3.0 (+0.23%), May silver (SIK18 +0.32%) +0.048 (+0.29%), and May copper (HGK18 +0.34%) +0.014 (+0.43%). Thursday's closes: Apr gold -7.8 (-0.59%), May silver -0.121 (-0.71%), May copper -0.0310 (-0.98%). Metals on Thursday closed lower on a stronger dollar and on concern that if the U.S. levies tariffs on China that it may start a trade war which could diminish global growth and industrial metals demand.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

WellCare Health Plans (WCG -0.36%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch with a price target of $240.

Adobe Systems (ADBE +0.20%) climbed almost 4% in after-hours trading after it reported Q1 revenue of $2.08 billion, better than consensus of $2.05 billion, and forecast Q2 revenue of $2.15 billion, above consensus of $2.14 billion.

Broadcom Ltd (AVGO +2.75%) slid over 1% in after-hours trading after it said it sees Q2 adjusted revenue of $5.0 billion, plus or minus $75 million, close to consensus of $5.0 billion.

Ulta Beauty (ULTA +2.05%) lost 1% in after-hours trading after it forecast Q1 EPS of $2.43 to $2.48, weaker than consensus of $2.59.

CRISPR Therapeutics AG (CRSP -9.58%) gained almost 3% in after-hours trading when Guggenheim Securities raised its price target on the stock to $85.

Overstock.com (OSTK -0.62%) dropped almost 7% in after-hours trading after it reported a Q4 loss per share of -$3.72.

Jabil (JBL +1.03%) rose over 3% in after-hours trading after it reported Q2 core EPS of 66 cents, better than consensus of 62 cents, and said it sees full-year core EPS of $2.60, above consensus of $2.57.

Zumiez (ZUMZ +2.04%) lost over 1% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 EPS of 80 cents, below consensus of 90 cents.

Golden Entertainment (GDEN +1.71%) slid nearly 3% in after-hours trading after it said it plans to invest $140 million in the Stratosphere Casino.

Zagg (ZAGG -0.40%) rose almost 4% in after-hours trading after it was rated a new 'Buy' at D.A. Davidson with a price target of $20.

FireEye (FEYE +3.84%) gained almost 3% in after-hours trading after CEO Kevin Mandia appeared on CNBC and said "I think we own that moment" in regard to investigating digital-currency hacks,

Cymabay Therapeutics (CBAY -8.09%) rose 5% in after-hours trading after it said it will start a Phase 3 study of its Seladeplar for primary biliary cholangitis in the second half of this year.

Purple Innovation (PRPL +2.27%) tumbled 12% in after-hours trading after it announced CEO Sam Bernards is stepping down to pursue other opportunities.

Amyris (AMRS -2.62%) surged over 20% in after-hours trading after it forecast more than $10 million of positive Ebitda for 2018, better than consensus of negative Ebitda of -$10.2 million.

Eastman Kodak (KODK -1.98%) jumped 14% in after-hours trading after it forecast 2018 operational Ebitda of $60 million-$70 million versus $49 million in 2017.

Why I Am Enthusiastic About Silver Right Now – Golden Arrow’s Grosso

Mar 15, 2018

Joseph Grosso CEO, Golden Arrow Resources

Silver should reach $20 to $22 within a year and a half, said Joe Grosso, CEO of Golden Arrow Resources. “Silver is not going to rise as fast as we’d like it to, but it will rise,” Grosso told Kitco News on the sidelines of the Gold Stock Analyst Investor Day conference.


Did Larry Kudlow Just Put In A Floor For Gold Prices? Expert Weighs In

Mar 15, 2018

Vince Lanci

Gold prices appear to be struggling Thursday in part because the metal is seeing little compassion from the White House’s new national economic advisor, Larry Kudlow.Kudlow came out saying that that he supports a strong U.S. dollar policy noting, “I would buy King Dollar and I would sell gold.” “I'm not saying the dollar has to go up 30%, I'm just saying let the rest of the world knows that we are going to keep the world's international reserve currency steady," Kudlow said in the interview. As for having a real impact on gold, Vince Lanci,, founder of Connecticut- based Echobay Partners is thinking little of it. "Kudlow may be the right man for the wrong situation," explained Lanci, . "We are not going to recreate the past with tax cuts and a 'pedal to the metal,' mentality. But he has a megaphone and a generation of people nostalgic for Reagan years that will applaud," Lanci said. "The evidence does not support his rhetoric at all," he added. "His public cheerleading is not at all consistent with the market performance. The USD has gone from 8 Yuan to about 5.8 in the last 10 years. That is a 25 percent drop in king dollar buying power versus the rising star in the east."On Thursday, gold prices remained weak as the market digested the comments. April Comex gold futures were last down $8.80 an ounce at $1,316.90. May Comex silver was last down $0.127 at $16.41 an ounce.

Gold Prices Tumble as Federal Reserve Meeting Draws Closer

MARCH 15, 2018 3:58 PM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Gold prices traded sharply lower amid dollar strength as focused shifted to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision next week while easing fears of a global trade war lessened safe-haven demand.

Gold futures for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell by $8.90, or 0.67%, to $1,316 a troy ounce.

Gold prices suffered their biggest one-day drop in nearly week as investors fret the Federal Reserve – at its meeting March 21 – could adopt a slightly more hawkish outlook on future monetary policy.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) said the FOMC’s rate projections will show a “pronounced upward drift,” though the median dot will stay at three hikes this year.

The bank also said there is a risk of a fourth rate being added to the Fed’s rate-hike projection should Powell adopt a “hawkish tilt,” persuading three or more FOMC members to favor tighter monetary policy measures sooner rather than later.

Investor expect the Federal Reserve to hikes rates next week with a further two rate hikes forecast for this year.

Gold is sensitive to moves in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

Also weighing on gold was a drop in safe-haven demand as trade war fears eased after the director of the White House National Trade Council, Peter Navarro played down the prospect of a global trade war.

In other precious metal trade, silver futures fell 0.92% to $16.39 a troy ounce, while platinum futures lost 0.79% to $955.30 an ounce.

Copper fell 0.70% to $3.13, while natural gas fell 1.94% to $2.69.

Gold down as Kudlow says to sell gold

MARCH 15, 2018 2:51 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Kudlow says “I would buy King Dollar and I would sell gold.”

Gold is still capped by the 1,360.00 multi-month resistance.

The precious metal is trading at above 1,317 down 0.54% on the day as Kudlow jawboned about the US dollar.

Larry Kudlow was appointed by Trump as the new White House top economic advisor on Wednesday. In a comment, he said that he would like to see the USD “a wee bit stronger” and went so far as giving a trade recommendation: “I would buy King Dollar and I would sell gold.” He didn’t give any detail of the time frame nor entry and exit levels though.

Regardless of what Kudlow's recommendations are, the USD is having some issues; the trade war initiated by Trump and the ever-increasing account deficit to name a few, according to Alvise Marino, FX strategist at Credit Suisse. She adds: “Kudlow speaks about the strong dollar and says all the right things in terms of what markets want to hear, but at the same time, you have much wider fiscal funding requirements. There’s so many more headwinds and they’re much more significant.”

The greenback has slumped 2.7% since the start of 2018, after an 8.5% loss in 2017. Sell contracts on the currency outnumber buy bets by 149,000 contracts, according to the latest data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Aversion for the USD is also seen in ETF flows as well, with investors increasingly moving capital out of hedge funds in favor of European and Japanese stocks without currency protection.

Gold weekly chart

On the technical front, Gold seems poised for a pullback in the coming weeks. 1,360 has rejected advances and the market is lacking clear momentum. Support is now seen at the 1307 level, the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement from the December 2016-January 2018 up leg. If the level gets broken to the downside then the next support is seen at 1,270, 38.2% Fibonacci retracement, which also coincides with an ascending trendline. Key resistance is the 1,360 multi-month resistance and the 1400 psychological figure.

China ForeignMin: A trade war is not in anyone’s interest

MARCH 15, 2018 3:46 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Reuters reporting some comments from China’s Foreign Ministry, advising that a trade war is not in anyone's interest.

This comes after the country’s Foreign Minister responded to the US tariffs announcement on the Chinese imports a day before.

The ministry noted that the US-China trade relations should not be a "zero-sum game".

Gold Prices Holds Steady, Close to 1-Week Highs

MARCH 15, 2018 3:07 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Gold prices held steady on Thursday, hovering close to one-week highs as the previous session’s mixed U.S. data and political turmoil in Washington continued to pressure the dollar and support safe-haven demand.

Comex gold futures were little changed at $1,325.9 a troy ounce by 03:00 a.m. ET (07:00 GMT), just off the previous session’s one-week peak of $1,330.5.

Sentiment on the greenback remained vulnerable after the U.S. Commerce Department reported on Wednesday that retail sales fell 0.1% in February, compared to expectations for a 0.3% rise.

However, a separate report showed that U.S. producer prices rose 0.2% in February, beating forecasts for an uptick of 0.1%.

Market participants were now looking ahead to U.S. manufacturing activity data in the New York and Philadelphia areas, as well as the weekly report on U.S. jobless claims for further indications on the strength of the economy.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 89.73.

Gold is sensitive to moves in the dollar. A weaker dollar makes gold less expensive for holders of foreign currency.

Meanwhile, markets were still jittery after U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, considered more moderate in his administration. Tillerson will be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

Fears of a potential global trade war were also reignited after Trump announced plans to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports, specifically targeting the technology and telecommunications sectors.

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver futures were almost unchanged at $16.54 a troy ounce.

Is Silver Set to Take Off?

Mar 14, 2018

Darren Blasutti CEO, Americas Silver Corp.

Silver is set to rally, but only in the medium to long-term, said Darren Blasutti, CEO of Americas Silver Corp.“I think we’re particularly positive on silver, but I think we’re out two or three years before we see that real change in silver, but we’re very bullish right now on zinc and lead, and copper,” Blasutti told Kitco News on the sidelines of the PDAC 2018. Americas Silver has shifted its focus on producing lead and zinc, even though silver is still its dominant reserve metal.

Are Metals In A Bull Or Bear Cycle? - Metallic Minerals CEO

Mar 13, 2018

Greg Johnson CEO, Metallic Minerals Corp.

Greg Johnson, CEO of Metallic Minerals, said that while metals are cyclical by nature, we are currently coming out of the low point.“We’ve just come out of a five, six year bear market, so we’re closer to lows than highs. So I think, ultimately, we will see metal prices rise,” Johnson told Kitco News on the sidelines of the PDAC 2018.Johnson noted that as metals prices rise, profits will be driven up for the producers, peaking investor interest in the mining space.

Gold Near Steady, Shows Little Reaction to U.S. Data

Jim Wyckoff Wednesday March 14, 2018

(Kitco News) - Gold prices are near steady in early U.S. trading Wednesday. The yellow metal is so far ignoring a batch of U.S. economic data, including a producer price index report that was a bit hotter on inflation than expected. April Comex gold futures were last up $1.20 an ounce at $1,328.20. May Comex silver was last up $0.023 at $16.650 an ounce.

The key economic data points of the day Wednesday were the U.S. producer price index and retail sales reports for February. PPI came in at up 0.2% overall, and up 0.2% on the core level, which excludes food and energy prices. Producer prices were up 2.8%, year-on-year. PPI was forecast to come in at up 0.1% from January. While the PPI data was just a bit hotter than expected, markets are not showing a big reaction to the news. The U.S. consumer price index was reported on Tuesday and it was deemed tame.

Meantime, U.S. retail sales in February were reported down 0.1% versus trade expectations for up 0.3%. That was the third month in a row for a decline in retail sales.

World stock markets were mostly weaker overnight. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward higher openings when the New York day session begins.

The world marketplace is still watching developments in the Trump administration after President Trump unceremoniously fired his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, on Tuesday. The Trump administration turmoil is an unsettling element for the marketplace due to the uncertainty regarding what could happen next.

Bitcoiin 2Gen

Hollywood actor Steven Seagal has become a believer of Bitcoiin2Gen, the 65-year-old former Hollywood action star will be representing the leading cryptocurrency organization, Bitcoiin2Gen, as brand a

In overnight news, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said in a speech in Frankfurt that the ECB is not yet prepared to exit its quantitative easing of monetary policy due to recent higher volatility in many markets, the potential for a world trade war and due to the recent strength in the Euro currency.

The key “outside markets” on Wednesday morning see the U.S. dollar index slightly firmer. Meantime, Nymex crude oil prices are also modestly up.

Other U.S. economic data due for release Wednesday includes the weekly MBA mortgage applications survey, retail sales, manufacturing and trade inventories, and the weekly DOE liquid energy stocks report.

Technically, April gold futures bulls and bears are on a level overall near-term technical playing field. Gold bulls' next upside near-term price breakout objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at $1,350.00. Bears' next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing prices below solid technical support at $1,300.00. First resistance is seen at the overnight high of $1,330.50 and then at $1,335.00. First support is seen at $1,320.00 and then at last week’s low of $1,313.20. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 5.0

May silver futures bears have the overall near-term technical advantage. Silver bulls' next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at the February high of $17.04 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at $16.00. First resistance is seen at $16.75 and then at the March high of $16.895. Next support is seen at this week’s low of $16.43 and then at last week’s low of $16.33. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 4.0

Outside The PDAC World, Do People Care About Mining?

Mar 13, 2018

Michael Gravelle Minister of Northern Development and Mines

Canadian residents, particularly in northern Ontario, are well informed of mining activities and the metals industry as a whole, according to Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines of Ontario. “We know that some communities are simply focused on mining developments because that’s where all the employment comes from,” Gravelle told Kitco News on the sidelines of the PDAC 2018. Gravelle noted that mining exploration provides a boon to the local economies where miners operate

India stocks lower at close of trade; Nifty 50 down 0.15%

MARCH 14, 2018 6:45 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – India stocks were lower after the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Oil&Gas, Real Estate and Metals sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NSE, the Nifty 50 fell 0.15%, while the BSE Sensex 30 index fell 0.06%.

The best performers of the session on the Nifty 50 were Tech Mahindra Ltd (NS:TEML), which rose 3.37% or 20.85 points to trade at 639.10 at the close. Meanwhile, Ambuja Cements Ltd. (NS:ABUJ) added 2.58% or 6.15 points to end at 243.90 and Yes Bank Ltd (NS:YESB) was up 1.66% or 5.20 points to 318.85 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (NS:IOC), which fell 3.25% or 13.25 points to trade at 395.05 at the close. Bharti Infratel Ltd (NS:BHRI) declined 3.08% or 10.75 points to end at 339.15 and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (NS:HPCL) was down 2.02% or 7.75 points to 375.40.

The top performers on the BSE Sensex 30 were Yes Bank Ltd (BO:YESB) which rose 1.85% to 318.90, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. (BO:MRTI) which was up 0.99% to settle at 8839.85 and AXIS Bank Ltd. (BO:AXBK) which gained 0.95% to close at 535.85.

The worst performers were Hero MotoCorp Ltd (BO:HROM) which was down 1.78% to 3635.45 in late trade, Oil And Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (BO:ONGC) which lost 1.53% to settle at 180.60 and Tata Steel Ltd (BO:TISC) which was down 1.25% to 620.45 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the India National Stock Exchange by 805 to 775 and 57 ended unchanged; on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 1327 fell and 1280 advanced, while 148 ended unchanged.

Shares in Tech Mahindra Ltd (NS:TEML) rose to 52-week highs; up 3.37% or 20.85 to 639.10.

The India VIX, which measures the implied volatility of Nifty 50 options, was down 0.69% to 14.3625.

Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.14% or 1.90 to $1325.20 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 0.63% or 0.38 to hit $61.09 a barrel, while the May Brent oil contract rose 0.59% or 0.38 to trade at $65.02 a barrel.

USD/INR was up 0.03% to 64.855, while EUR/INR fell 0.18% to 80.2073.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.10% at 89.79.

Eurozone industrial production drops more than expected – ING

MARCH 14, 2018 7:16 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Eurozone industry is off to a false start, with the decline in industrial production of 1% in January dominated by a drop in energy production while the manufacturing outlook remains quite bright, explains Bert Colijn, Senior Economist at ING.

Key Quotes

“Production declined by 1% month-on-month and annual growth weakened to just 2.7% in January, which was well below expectations. This was mainly due to a drop in energy production, often related to weather conditions. Compared to last January, energy production dropped by -10.4%, while all other production categories increased between 3% for non-durable consumer goods and 8.5% for capital goods. This shows that while January may have been a weak month, the recovery of production still maintains a relatively strong pace. The question is whether this pace can be sustained in 2018 as well.”

“Although still signalling strong growth, the somewhat weaker PMI data in February begs the question whether the acceleration of production might stop before it properly started. New orders came in weaker, which dragged down the indicator. As backlogs of work in the manufacturing sector are still very significant though, it seems unlikely that weaker orders will impact production much before summer. If indeed weaker orders persist, this could slow down industrial output growth in the second half of the year. A mild slowdown in the manufacturing sector would be in line with our forecast of somewhat moderating GDP growth as the year progresses.”

USD/JPY flirting with daily lows, below mid-106.00s ahead of US data

MARCH 14, 2018 7:51 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

USDJPY

• Failure to sustain above 107.00 handle prompts some fresh long-unwinding trade.

• Fading safe-haven demand/modest USD recovery fails to lend any support.

• US monthly retail sales data/PPI figures eyed for some fresh trading impetus.

The USD/JPY pair faded an early European session spike to 106.70 area and has now dropped back closer to the lower end of its daily trading range.

The pair's latest leg of fall over the past few hours lacked any obvious fundamental trigger and could be attributed to some long-unwinding trade, especially after the recent repeated failures to sustain/build on strength beyond the 107.00 handle.

Even a slight improvement in investors’ appetite for riskier assets, as depicted by a goodish rebound in European equity markets and which tends to dent the Japanese Yen's safe-haven appeal, failed to lend any support and stall the pair's downfall back below mid-106.00s.

Meanwhile, a subdued action around the US Dollar and the US Treasury bond yields did little to influence the momentum, with bears tracking the latest global trade war turmoil.

Traders now look forward to a duo of US macroeconomic releases – monthly retail sales data and the latest PPI figures, due for release in a short while from now, in order to grab some short-term opportunities.

Technical levels to watch

A follow-through selling pressure has the potential to continue dragging the pair back towards the 106.00 handle, below which the slide could further get extended towards 105.50-45 support area.

On the flip side, sustained move back above the 106.65-70 region might trigger a short-covering bounce and lift the pair back above the 107.00 handle towards retesting 107.35 supply zone.

China: Markets comfortable with the mainland macro backdrop – BBH

MARCH 14, 2018 7:21 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Analysts at BBH note that China reported January-February IP and retail sales and the two months are combined to limit Lunar New Year distortions.

Key Quotes

“IP rose 7.2% y/y vs. 6.2% expected, while sales rose 9.7% y/y vs. 9.8% expected. For now, markets appear comfortable with the mainland macro backdrop. Policymakers kept the growth target for this year steady at 6.5%, which signals “steady as she goes.”

Google Ban Weighs on Cryptocurrencies

MARCH 14, 2018 7:35 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Bitcoin and other virtual currencies continued to fall on Wednesday as Google banned cryptocurrency-related advertising across its platforms.

Bitcoin was trading at $8,685.40, slumping 3.65% as of 7:38 AM ET (11:38 GMT) on the Bitfinex, not far from its low of $8,462.00 on Sunday. The cryptocurrency has struggled to gain ground after falling to $6,000 in early February and is far from its peak of $20,000 in December.

Other virtual currencies were down, with rival Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, falling 4.75% to $660.60 on the Bitfinex exchange. Ripple, the third largest virtual currency, was down 2.97% to $0.74000 while Litecoin was last at $166.78, a decrease of 3.76%.

Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc, the parent company of Google, announced on Wednesday that it is banning advertisements for cryptocurrencies starting in June. A similar ban went into effect by Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) earlier this year.

“We don’t have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we’ve seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it’s an area that we want to approach with extreme caution,” said Scott Spencer, Google’s director of sustainable ads.

While the ban is weighing on digital currency prices, the announcement “will simply serve to protect the ill-informed making bad decisions and bring market stability, rather than put a stranglehold on cryptocurrency trading,” said Marcus Taylor, CEO of broker platform BrokerNotes.

Meanwhile traders have turned their attention to the G20 finance summit next week in Argentina, where central bankers and leaders are expected to discuss cryptocurrencies. Participants are expected to discuss the role of digital currency in money laundering and the potential of financial stability. Regulators around the world have struggled to regulate the virtual currencies as they have gained in popularity and become more volatile.

WEDNESDAY MARCH 14, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

Jun E-mini S&Ps (ESM18 +0.29%) this morning are up +0.23% and European stocks are up +0.19% as strength in Chinese factory output bolsters confidence in the global economic outlook. May COMEX copper (HGK18 +1.24%) is up +1.07% at a 1-week high and is lifting mining stocks and raw-material producers after China Feb industrial production rose +7.2% year-to-date, the largest increase in 3-years. Asian stocks settled lower: Japan -0.87%, Hong Kong 0.53%, China -0.57%, Taiwan -0.51%, Australia -0.66%, Singapore -0.40%, South Korea -0.31%, India -0.06%. Asian stocks followed Tuesday's losses in U.S. markets and were also under pressure on concern new Secretary of State Pompeo will advance President Trump's agenda of imposing tariffs.

The dollar index (DXY00 +0.09%) is up +0.11%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.17% on dovish comments from ECB President Draghi who said policy makers need to see further evidence that inflation dynamics are moving in the right direction. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is down -0.06%.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 unch) are little changed, up +0.5 of a tick.

ECB President Draghi said "we still need to see further evidence that inflation dynamics are moving in the right direction. So monetary policy will remain patient, persistent and prudent."

Eurozone Jan industrial production fell -1.0% m/m, weaker than expectations of -0.5% m/m and the biggest decline in 13 months.

China Feb industrial production rose +7.2% year-to-date, stronger than expectations of +6.2% year-to-date and the fastest pace in 3 years.

Japan Jan core machine orders rose +8.2% m/m and +2.9% y/y, stronger than expectations of +5.2% m/m and -0.7% y/y with the +8.2% m/m gain the largest monthly increase in 2-years.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) weekly MBA mortgage applications (previous +0.3% with purchase sub-index -0.5% and refi sub-index +1.5%), (2) Feb PPI final demand (expected +0.1% m/m and +2.8% y/y, Jan +0.4% m/m and +2.7% y/y) and Feb PPI ex food & energy (expected +0.2% m/m and +2.6% y/y, Jan +0.4% m/m and +2.2% y/y), (3) Feb retail sales (expected +0.3% and +0.4% ex autos, Jan -0.3% and unch ex autos), (4) Jan business inventories (expected +0.6%, Dec +0.4%), (5) EIA weekly Petroleum Status Report.

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: Williams-Sonoma (consensus $4.20), Signet Jewelers ($1.62).

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.

Equity conferences this week: Cowen & Co. Health Care Conference on Mon-Wed, Enterprise Connect on Mon-Thu, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Consumer & Retail Technology Conference on Tue-Wed, Barclays Emerging Payments Forum on Tue-Wed, SpeedNews Aviation Industry Suppliers Conference on Tue-Wed, Barclays Global Healthcare Conference on Tue-Thu, JP Morgan Aviation, Transportation & Industrials Conference on Tue-Thu, Goldman Sachs Chemical Intensity Day on Wed, Susquehanna Technology Conference on Wed.

Market Comments

Jun S&P 500 E-mini stock futures (ESM18 +0.29%) this morning are up +6.50 points (+0.23%). Tuesday's closes: S&P 500 -0.64%, Dow Jones -0.68%, Nasdaq -1.19%. The S&P 500 on Tuesday posted a 1-1/4 month high but then fell back and closed lower on political concerns after President Trump fired Secretary of State Tillerson. There was also weakness in energy stocks as crude oil prices tumbled -1.06%. Stocks found some support on the U.S Feb core CPI report of +1.8% y/y, right on expectations and below the Fed's 2.0% target, which eased concern the Fed may need to speed up the pace of interest rate hikes.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 unch) this morning are up +0.5 of a tick. Tuesday's closes: TYM8 +4.00, FVM8 +1.25. Jun 10-year T-notes on Tuesday rallied to a 1-week high and settled higher on political concerns after Secretary of State Tillerson was fired and on reduced inflation expectations after the 10-year T-note breakeven inflation rate fell to a 3-week low.

The dollar index (DXY00 +0.09%) this morning is up +0.102 (+0.11%). EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.0021 (-0.17%) and USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is down -0.06 (-0.06%). Tuesday's closes: Dollar Index -0.231 (-0.26%), EUR/USD +0.0056 (+0.45%), USD/JPY +0.16 (+0.15%). The dollar index on Tuesday closed lower on U.S. political and trade uncertainty and on the decline in the 10-year T-note yield to a 1-week low, which undercut the dollar's interest rate differentials.

Apr crude oil (CLJ18 +0.89%) this morning is up +39 cents (+0.64%) and Apr gasoline (RBJ18+0.98%) is +0.0142 (+0.75%). Tuesday's closes: Apr WTI crude -0.65 (-1.06%), Apr gasoline -0.0077 (-0.41%). Apr crude oil and gasoline on Tuesday closed lower with Apr gasoline at a 1-week low. Crude oil prices were undercut by the EIA's hike in its March U.S. shale-oil output estimate to 6.82 million bpd from 6.76 million bpd and their projection for U.S. April shale-oil production to increase +131,000 bpd to 6.95 million bpd. Crude oil prices were also undercut by expectations for weekly EIA crude oil inventories on Wednesday to climb +2.5 million bbl, the third consecutive weekly gain.

Metals prices this morning are mixed with Apr gold (GCJ18 -0.09%) -1.2 (-0.09%), May silver (SIK18 -0.19%) -0.037 (-0.22%), and May copper +0.034 +1.07%) at a 1-week high. Tuesday's closes: Apr gold +6.3 (+0.48%), May silver +0.091 (+0.55%), May copper (HGK18 +1.24%) +0.0140 (+0.45%). Metals on Tuesday closed higher on a weaker dollar and on political uncertainty that fueled safe-haven demand for precious metals after President Trump fired Secretary of State Tillerson.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

Caleres (CAL +2.43%) jumped over 10% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 net sales of $702.5 million, better than consensus of $695.8 million.

Ford Motor (F -0.28%) was upgraded to 'Overweight' from 'Underweight' at Morgan Stanley.

RH (RH -0.67%) was upgraded to 'Outperform' from 'Market Perform' at Raymond James with a price target of $95.

Sunoco (SUN unch) was downgraded to 'Sell' from 'Neutral' at Goldman Sachs.

B&G Foods (BGS +1.52%) authorized a $50 million stock buyback program.

Tyler Technologies (TYL +0.42%) was rated a new 'Outperform' at Baird with a price target of $240.

Lockheed Martin (LMT +0.11%) received a $1.46 billion contract from the Department of Defense for modification of 145 F-35 Lightning II air systems.

Golden Entertainment (GDEN +1.83%) was rated a new 'Outperform' at Telsey Advisory Group with A price target OF $32.

MongoDB (MDB -4.15%) rose 4% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 adjusted gross margin of 73%, higher than consensus of 71.6%

Patterson Cos (PDCO -1.28%) authorized a new $500 million share buyback program.

First Hawaiian (FHB -0.59%) was upgraded to 'Outperform' from 'Market Perform' at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods with a price target of $34.

Heritage Commerce (HTBK +0.84%) was upgraded to 'Outperform' from 'Market Perform' at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods with a price target of $19.

RadNet (RDNT +2.02%) was rated a 'Strong Buy' at Raymond James with a price target of $15.

Aratana Therapeutics (PETX +0.23%) gained almost 2% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 revenue of $10.5 million, better than consensus of $6.8 million.

Gold Prices Rebound as U.S. Dollar Turns Lower

MARCH 13, 2018 9:04 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Gold prices rebounded on Tuesday, as data showing that U.S. consumer prices cooled in February sent the greenback lower and dampened expectations for aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

Comex gold futures were up 0.36% at $1,325.6 a troy ounce by 09:00 a.m. ET (13:00 GMT).

The dollar weakened after data showed that U.S. consumer prices slowed last month, confirming that an anticipated pickup in inflation will probably be only gradual.

The report came after data on Friday showing a slowdown in wage growth dampened concerns over inflationary pressures and dampened expectations for four rate hikes by the Federal Reserve this year.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.13% at 89.77.

Gold is sensitive to moves in both U.S. rates and the dollar. A weaker dollar makes gold less expensive for holders of foreign currency, while a rise in U.S. rates lifts the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver futures gained 0.45% to $16.60 a troy ounce.

Cryptos Fall as Regulation Talk Weighs

MARCH 13, 2018 7:49 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Bitcoin and other virtual currencies fell on Tuesday as Japan prepares to urge the G20 to adopt rules to prevent global money laundering of cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin was trading at $9,005.50, slumping 7.99% as of 7:47 AM ET (11:47 GMT) on the Bitfinex after hitting a low of $8,462.00 on Sunday. The cryptocurrency has struggled to gain ground after falling to $6,000 in early February and is far from its peak of $20,000 in December.

Other virtual currencies were down, with rival Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, falling 5.78% to $690.22 on the Bitfinex exchange. Ripple, the third largest virtual currency, was down 6.44% to $0.76813 while Litecoin was last at $172.74, a decrease of 9.92%.

Japan will urge G20 finance officials to ramp up efforts against cryptocurrencies being used in money laundering. It’s unlikely global rules will be agreed on and the meetings will instead focus on consumer protection and steps to prevent money laundering, officials said.

The group of finance ministers and central bankers from 20 major economies are due to meet in Buenos Aires on March 19 to 20.

As virtual currencies grow in popularity, regulators around the world have struggled with how to oversee the digital coins.

Japan is the first country to oversee cryptocurrency trading. France and Germany are expected to make a joint proposal to regulate the virtual currency market. Thailand is considering imposing a 10% capital gains tax on cryptocurrency investments, according to the Bangkok Report.

Meanwhile a European Central Bank board member wrote in an op-ed that bitcoin and other virtual coins are too risky to be used as legal tender but could be used by policy makers to settle payments among financial institutions.

“General-purpose central-bank digital currencies could revolutionize the way money is provided and the role of central banks in the financial system, but these are uncharted waters,” said Benoit Coeure, an ECB board member who chairs the Bank for International Settlements Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures.

Gold struggles near daily lows, US inflation data eyed for fresh impetus

MARCH 13, 2018 7:31 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

• Reviving USD demand prompts some fresh selling on Tuesday.

• Rising US bond yields offset cautious sentiment in European markets.

• Focus remains on the key US CPI data.

Gold maintained its offered tone through the mid-European session and now seems to have entered a bearish consolidation phase.

Currently placed at the lower end of its daily trading range, a goodish pickup in the US Dollardemand was seen one of the key factors weighing on dollar-denominated commodities – like gold. This coupled with a positive tone around the US Treasury bond yields was further seen denting demand for the non-yielding metal.

The negative factors, to some extent, were offset by the prevalent cautious sentiment around the European equity markets, which was seen lending some support to the precious metal's safe-haven appeal and helped limit deeper losses, at least for the time being.

Tuesday's key focus would remain on the latest US consumer inflation figures, which would help gauge the

Fed's rate hike stance and eventually provide some fresh directional impetus.

Looking at the broader picture, the commodity has been finding some decent support near the $1315 region but recovery attempts were being sold into near the $1325 area. Hence, it would be prudent to wait for a decisive break through the mentioned trading range before positioning for the commodity's next leg of directional move.

Technical levels to watch

A decisive break below $1315 support now seems to turn the metal vulnerable to aim towards testing 100-day SMA support near the $1302 region with some intermediate support near the $1310-08 region.

Alternatively, a sustained move beyond $1325 supply zone is likely to trigger a short-covering bounce towards $1333 level en-route $1340 heavy supply zone.


TUESDAY MARCH 13, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

Jun E-mini S&Ps (ESM18 +0.19%) this morning are up +0.21% and European stocks are up +0.31% at a 1-1/2 week high on optimism in the global economic outlook after the OECD raised its global 2018 GDP estimate to a 7-year high of 3.9% from a Nov estimate of 3.7%. Trading activity was muted ahead of the release of U.S. Feb CPI later this morning, which may affect the outlook for Fed policy tightening. European stocks also received a boost on reduced interest rate concerns after the 10-year German bund yield fell to a 1-week low of 0.618%. Asian stocks settled mixed: Japan +0.66%, Hong Kong +0.02%, China -0.49%, Taiwan +0.85%, Australia -0.38%, Singapore +0.38%, South Korea +0.71%, India -0.18%. Japanese stocks closed higher, led by gains in exporters, after USD/JPY (^USDJPY) climbed to a 1-week high, which boosted the earnings prospects of exporters with the weaker yen.

The dollar index (DXY00 +0.15%) is up +0.17%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.01%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.78% at a 1-week high.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 unch) are down -1.5 ticks.

The OECD raised its global 2018 GDP forecast to 3.9% from a Nov estimate of 3.7%, the strongest in 7 years, but said "trade protectionism remains a key risk that would negatively affect confidence, investment and jobs."

Japan Feb PPI was unch m/m and +2.5% y/y, weaker than expectations of +0.2% m/m and +2.5% y/y, with the unch m/m reading the slowest monthly pace of increase in 9 months.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) Feb CPI (expected +0.2% m/m and +2.2% y/y, Jan +0.5% m/m and +2.1% y/y) and Feb CPI ex food & energy (expected +0.2% m/m and +1.8% y/y, Jan +0.3% m/m and +1.8% y/y), (2) Treasury auctions $13 billion of 30-year T-bonds.

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: Dick's Sporting Goods (consensus $1.24), HD Supply Holdings (0.44).

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.

Equity conferences this week: Cowen & Co. Health Care Conference on Mon-Wed, Enterprise Connect on Mon-Thu, Evercore ISI–Energy Power Summit on Tue, Gabelli & Company Specialty Chemicals Conference on Tue, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Consumer & Retail Technology Conference on Tue-Wed, Barclays Emerging Payments Forum on Tue-Wed, SpeedNews Aviation Industry Suppliers Conference on Tue-Wed, Barclays Global Healthcare Conference on Tue-Thu, JP Morgan Aviation, Transportation & Industrials Conference on Tue-Thu, Goldman Sachs Chemical Intensity Day on Wed, Susquehanna Technology Conference on Wed.

Market Comments

Jun S&P 500 E-mini stock futures (ESM18 +0.19%) this morning are up +5.75 points (+0.21%). Monday's closes: S&P 500 -0.13%, Dow Jones -0.62%, Nasdaq +0.42%. The S&P 500 on Monday fell back from a 1-1/4 month high and closed lower on continued concern about President Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs and retalation from U.S. trade partners. In addition, energy stocks were undercut by the -1.10% decline in Apr WTI crude oil prices. Stocks found support on strength in technology stocks as the Nasdaq Composite rose to a fresh record high, and on reduced interest rate concerns after the 10-year T-note yield fell further below 2.90%.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 unch) this morning are down -1.5 ticks. Monday's closes: TYM8 +5.50, FVM8 +2.50. Jun 10-year T-notes on Monday closed higher on carry-over support from a rally in German bunds after ECB Executive Board member Coeure said "inflation is not yet where we want it" and interest rates "will remain low long after the end of our asset purchases." T-note prices were also supported by reduced inflation expectations after the 10-year breakeven inflation rate fell to a 1-week low.

The dollar index (DXY00 +0.15%) this morning is up +0.151 (+0.17%). EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.0001 (-0.01%) and USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.83 (+0.78%) at a 1-week high. Monday's closes: Dollar Index -0.198 (-0.22%), EUR/USD +0.0027 (+0.22%), USD/JPY -0.40(-0.37%). The dollar index on Monday closed lower on the decline in the 10-year T-note yield, which is negative for the dollar's interest rate differentials, and on concern the Trump administration's aggressive trade policies could start a global trade war that reduces economic growth.

Apr crude oil (CLJ18 unch) this morning is up +24 cents (+0.39%) and Apr gasoline (RBJ18-0.40%) is +0.0006 (+0.03%). Monday's closes: Apr WTI crude -0.68 (-1.10%), Apr gasoline -0.0103 (-0.64%). Apr crude oil and gasoline on Monday closed lower on Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh's comment that Iran wants OPEC to keep oil prices at $60 a barrel as an increase to $70 will encourage U.S. shale oil output. Crude oil prices were also undercut by the fall in the crack spread to a 2-1/2 week low, which reduces incentive for refineries to increase crude purchases in order to refine the crude into gasoline.

Metals prices this morning are mixed with Apr gold (GCJ18 -0.14%) -1.8 (-0.14%), May silver (SIK18 -0.07%) -0.001 (-0.01%), and May copper (HGK18 +0.06%) +0.005 (+0.14%). Monday's closes: Apr gold -3.2 (-0.24%), May silver -0.072 (-0.43%), May copper -0.0120 (-0.38%). Metals on Monday closed lower on reduced inflation concerns that curbed demand for gold as an inflation hedge after the 10-year breakeven inflation rate fell to a 1-week low. Copper prices were undercut by increased copper supplies after LME copper inventors jumped +10,000 MT to a 1-week high of 321,125.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

Century Aluminum (CENX +3.28%) was upgraded to 'Outperform' from 'Market Perform' at Cowen who said tariffs will alllow the company to bring "significant U.S. production capacity" back online.

Nike (NKE +0.78%) was rated a new 'Outperform' at Credit Suisse with a price target of $78.

T-Mobile (TMUS -1.07%) was rated a new 'Buy' at Guggenheim Securities with a price target of $80.

Coupa Software (COUP +1.63%) rose 2% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 revenue of $53.8 million, higher than consensus of $48.6 million, and said it sees Q1 revenue of $51.0 million to $51.5 million, better than consensus of $49.5 million.

Stitch Fix (SFIX +6.87%) fell 4% in after-hours trading after it said it sees Q3 adjusted Ebitda of $5 million to $10 million, weaker than consensus of $12.4 million.

Myriad Genetics (MYGN +1.38%) slid over 6% in after-hours trading after it said it received a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Office of Inspector General as part of an investigation into possible improper claims under Medicare and Medicaid.

Kronos Worldwide (KRO +0.17%) dropped 9% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 EPS of 41 cents, well below consensus of 54 cents.

Evoqua Water Technologies (AQUA +3.03%) slipped almost 3% in after-hours trading after holder AEA Inventors was said to offer 17.5 million shares of AQUA stock.

Amphastar Pharmaceuticals (AMPH +2.30%) gained 2% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 adjusted EPS of 10 cents, much higher than consensus of 2 cents.

Tilly's (TLYS +5.44%) tumbled nearly 14% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 net sales of $164.3 million, below consensus of $166.3 million.

Akebia Therapeutics (AKBA -3.98%) jumped 11% in after-hours trading after it reported an unexpected Q4 EPS profit of 25 cents, better than consensus of a loss of -39 cents a share.

Commercial Vehicle Group (CVGI +1.00%) slumped 18% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 revenue of $188.3 million, weaker than consensus of $191.0 million.

National CineMedia (CMI -1.42%) lost almost 4% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 revenue of $140.7 million, weaker than consensus of $144.5 million.

Proteostasis Therapeutics (PTI +0.49%) surged 30% in after-hours trading after the FDA granted breakthrough therapy designation for its PTI-428, its cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator amplifier.

Bitcoin Slumps Below $9,000 as Investor Exodus from Cryptomarket Resumes

MARCH 12, 2018 4:53 PM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Bitcoin retreated sharply Monday swinging from a near-session high of $10,000 to under $9,000 as investors fled cryptocurrencies amid renewed selling pressure.

On the bitfinex exchange, Bitcoin fell 5.49% to $8,921.2.

The move lower comes after bitcoin’s rally over the weekend extended into the early part of Monday’s session, lifting the cryptocurrency to a session high of $9,900 on the bitfinex exchanged. Prior to the move higher traders warned that if bitcoin failed to garner demand at current levels then “the February lows [around $6,000] would in the cross-hairs.

Cryptocurrency demand has remained subdued, however, as the total cryptomarket cap fell to about $365 billion – at the time of writing – down from $374 billion last week, and close to levels last seen when bitcoin fell to $6,000.

In the wake of growing calls for regulation, investor sentiment on bitcoin has remained largely negative as the popular cryptocurrency’s flailing attempts to mount a sustainable advance above $12,000 has been met with staunch resistance.

Bitcoin rose to a high of $11,696 last week before retreating sharply following a raft of negative headlines including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) vowing to take a closer look at crypto-trading platforms offering exchange-like services who failed to register with the regulator.

Some also cited traders possibly readjusted their bitcoin positions ahead of the Chicago Board of Exchange, or Cboe, expiration of bitcoin futures on Wednesday, as an additional factor contributing to downside momentum in bitcoin.

Sentiment in the wider cryptomarket continues to be largely driven by swings in bitcoin as broad-based selling was seen across cryptos.

Ripple XRP fell 6.17% to $0.7755 on the poloniex exchange, while Ethereum 3.96% to $692.63.

Pushback expected as Trump seeks lower EU tariffs on US goods

Reuters

MARCH 12, 2018 8:11 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Donald Trump announced late Monday that Wilbur Ross, the US Commerce Secretary, will be asking the European Union to lower trade barriers to the US. Trump's opinion is being flatly rejected by the EU, as reported by Reuters.

Key Highlights:

Wilbur Ross will be asking the EU to lower trade barriers aimed at the US.

Trump consider EU tariffs unfair to US farmers and manufacturers.

The EU accused Trump of 'cherry-picking' data amidst the dispute over US metal tariffs.

The EU is still seeking exemptions from Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs.

EU says US administration hasn't been clear on how exemption process works.

Trump insists he's willing to drop US tariffs if the EU does so first.

European Commission plans to be in contact with Washington this week.

The EU will potentially be making a legal challenge at the World Trade Organization regarding tariffs.

Extra tariffs aimed at US goods also proposed to 'rebalance trade flows'.

This Is When Hecla CEO Sees Silver Break Past $20

Mar 12, 2018

Phil Baker CEO, Hecla Mining

Hecla Mining CEO, Phil Baker, is confident that silver will “absolutely” soar past the $20 resistance level, “whether it’s this year, or in the future.”“When you think about the gold-silver ratio, silver should outperform gold,” Baker told Kitco News on the sidelines of the BMO Global Metals & Mining Conference.The gold-silver ratio currently stands at 80, much higher than the historical average of 60 of recent years.

What’s The Next Big Thing? Rick Rule, Amir Adnani

Mar 12, 2018

Rick Rule

Amir Adnani, CEO, UEC

Rick Rule, CEO of Sprott U.S. Holdings, and Amir Adnani, CEO of Uranium Energy Corp., discuss the role base metals play in the future of energy.Rule said that while cobalt is attracting media attention for its use in the “electrification of things,” investors need to be cautious of companies that are not legitimately mining cobalt.“You have to be in Congo, or you have to be in Russia,” Rule told Kitco News on the sidelines of the PDAC 2018. “Everybody wants to be in politically secure, politically correct cobalt. It’s as if they wanted a cobalt discovery in Kansas. But there isn’t any.”Adnani noted that while cobalt may play an important role in the battery theme, the often ignored phase of recharging those batteries is equally important, and this is where uranium comes into play.“If everyone wants to drive an electric vehicle, and everyone needs to recharge these batteries around the clock at different points in time, the need for de-carbonizing the economy at the same time as making sure electricity is available around the clock can only be made available through nuclear power,” Adnani said.


MONDAY MARCH 12, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

Jun E-mini S&Ps (ESM18 +0.27%) this morning are up +0.33% at a 1-1/4 month high on positive carry-over from last Friday's stronger-than-expected U.S. Fed jobs report. European stocks are up +0.52% at a 1-1/2 week high on gains in U.S. stocks along with upbeat comments from ECB Executive Board member Coeure who said Eurozone growth "is strong and well distributed, and now reaches all regions and sectors." Asian stocks settled higher: Japan +1.65%, Hong Kong +1.93%, China +0.59%, Taiwan+1.26%, Australia +0.55%, Singapore +1.57%, South Korea +0.95%, India +1.83%. China's Shanghai Composite rose to a 2-week high and Japan's Nikkei Stock Index posted a 1-1/2 week high as Asian markets rallied on optimism strength in the U.S. economy will benefit Asian exporters as last Friday's jobs report showed the U.S. labor market continued to strengthen without faster wage inflation.

The dollar index (DXY00 +0.08%) is down -0.01%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is up +0.01%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is down -0.27%.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 -0.04%) are down -2.5 ticks.

ECB Executive Board member Coeure said Eurozone growth "is strong and well distributed, and now reaches all regions and sectors," but is still too dependent on monetary policy. He added "inflation is not yet where we want it" and interest rates "will remain low long after the end of our asset purchases."

The Japan Q1 BSI all-industry business conditions fell -2.9 to 3.3. The Q1 BSI large manufacturing business conditions fell -6.8 to 2.9l.

The Japan Feb machine tool orders rose +39.5% y/y, the fifteenth straight month orders have increased.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) USDA weekly grain export inspections, (2) Treasury auctions $28 billion of 3-year T-notes and $21 billion of 10-year T-notes, (3) Feb monthly budget statement expected -$216.0 billion, Jan +$49.2 billion.

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: none.

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.

Equity conferences this week: Capital Link International Shipping Offshore Forum on Mon, American College of Cardiology Scientific Session on Mon, Cowen & Co. Health Care Conference on Mon-Wed, Enterprise Connect on Mon-Thu, Evercore ISI–Energy Power Summit on Tue, Gabelli & Company Specialty Chemicals Conference on Tue, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Consumer & Retail Technology Conference on Tue-Wed, Barclays Emerging Payments Forum on Tue-Wed, SpeedNews Aviation Industry Suppliers Conference on Tue-Wed, Barclays Global Healthcare Conference on Tue-Thu, JP Morgan Aviation, Transportation & Industrials Conference on Tue-Thu, Goldman Sachs Chemical Intensity Day on Wed, Susquehanna Technology Conference on Wed.

Market Comments

Jun S&P 500 E-mini stock futures (ESM18 +0.27%) this morning are up +9.25 points (+0.33%) at a 1-1/4 month high. Friday's closes: S&P 500 +1.74%, Dow Jones +1.77%, Nasdaq +1.93%. The S&P 500 on Friday rallied to a 1-1/2 week high and closed sharply higher on reduced geopolitical concerns after President Trump agreed to a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and on the +313,000 increase in U.S. Feb non-farm payrolls, stronger than expectations of +205,000 and the biggest increase in 1-1/2 years. Reduced inflation concerns also gave stocks a lift after U.S. Feb average hourly earnings rose +0.1% m/m and +2.6% y/y, weaker than expectations of +0.2% m/m and +2.8% y/y.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 -0.04%) this morning are down -2.5 ticks. Friday's closes: TYM8 -4.50, FVM8 -2.50. Jun 10-year T-notes on Friday closed lower and the 10-year T-note yield rose to a 1-week high on the stronger-than-expected +313,000 increase in U.S. Feb non-farm payrolls, the biggest increase in 1-1/2 years, which is hawkish for Fed policy. The sharp rally in the S&P 500 to a 1-1/2 week high was also negative for T-note prices. Losses were contained after U.S. Feb average hourly earnings rose less than expected.

The dollar index (DXY00 +0.08%) this morning is down -0.009 (-0.01%). EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is up +0.0001 (+0.01%) and USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is down -0.29 (-0.27%). Friday's closes: Dollar Index -0.086 (-0.10%), EUR/USD -0.0005 (-0.04%), USD/JPY +0.59 (+0.56%). The dollar index on Friday fell back from a 1-week high and closed lower on the smaller-than-expected increase in U.S. Feb hourly earnings, which is dovish for Fed policy. The dollar also fell on dovish comments from Chicago Fed President Evans who said he would prefer to wait for inflation to pick up before raising interest rates again.

Apr crude oil (CLJ18 -0.37%) this morning is down -39 cents (-0.63%) and Apr gasoline (RBJ18-0.70%) is -0.0161 (-0.85%). Friday's closes: Apr WTI crude +1.92 (+3.19%), Apr gasoline +0.0366 (+1.96%). Apr crude oil and gasoline on Friday closed higher due to a weaker dollar and the rally in the S&P 500 to a 1-1/2 week high, which bolsters confidence in the economic outlook and energy demand. Crude prices also found support on comments from Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih who said even if American shale-oil output grows by 1 million bpd this year, OPEC "will do what's needed" to preserve oil market stability.

Metals prices this morning are lower with Apr gold (GCJ18 -0.56%) -7.5 (-0.57%), May silver (SIK18 -0.86%) -0.143 (-0.86%)), and May copper (HGK18 -0.75%) -0.020 (-0.64%). Friday's closes: Apr gold +2.3 (+0.17%), May silver +0.108 (+0.65%), May copper +0.0570 (+1.85%). Metals on Friday closed higher due to a weaker dollar and a lack of wage pressures that may prompt the Fed to delay further interest rate hikes after U.S. Feb average hourly earnings rose less than expected.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

E*TRADE Financial (ETFC +3.75%) was upgraded to 'Strong Buy' from 'Outperform' at Raymond James with a price target of $74.

Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM +0.02%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at Goldman Sachs with a price target of $50.

Northrup Grumman (NOC +0.95%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at Citigroup with a price target of $405.

Apollo Global Management LLC (APO +1.67%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at Citigroup with a price target of $40.

Time Warner (TWX +0.50%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at UBS.

Deckers Outdoor (DECK +2.28%) was downgraded to 'Hold' from 'Buy' at Pivotal Research Group LLC.

Newmont Mining (NEM +0.13%) was downgraded to 'Underperform' from 'Sector Perform' at RBC Capital Markets.

SVB Financial Group (SIVB +2.10%) will replace Patterson Cos (PDCO +1.48%) in the S&P 500 prior to the open of trading on Monday, March 19.

Take-Two Interactive (TTWO +2.67%) will replace Signet Jewelers (SIG +2.17%) in the S&P 500 prior to the open of trading on Monday, March 19.

Nektar Therapeutics ({=NKTR will replace Chesapeake Energy (CHK +4.38%) in the S&P 500 prior to the open of trading on Monday, March 19.

The WSJ reports that Intel (INTC +2.86%) in considering a bid for Broadcom Ltd (AVGO +2.77%) .

Dun & Bradstreet (DNB +0.95%) President and COO Joshua L. Peirez resigned effective March 15, 2018.

C.H. Robinson Worldwide (CHRW +2.39%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Hold' at Edward Jones.

According to Reuters, General Electric (GE +2.89%) is exploring the sale of its electrical engineering business.

Mining Minutes

Dam Collapses At One Of Australia's Largest Gold Mines, Operations Temporarily Suspended

Anna Golubova Sunday March 11, 2018 21:58

Operations at Newcrest Mining’s Cadia mine are temporarily suspended after a partial dam collapse following a series of earthquakes that hit New South Wales. Mine workers noticed the damage on Friday, Sydney Morning Herald reports, adding that “the tailings dams contain byproducts of mining and can contain materials which are harmful to the environment and human health.” Newcrest says it is conducting an investigation into the matter and the NSW Environmental Protection Agency is also inspecting the site. Some workers are reportedly concerned about safety, says National Secretary of the Australian Workers Union, Daniel Walton. “A lot of workers are worried that the mine is not taking this activity seriously enough and they do have concerns about safety,” Walton states.

Strikes Planned In Ghana If Gold Fields Dismisses More Than 2,000 Staff — Report

Sunday March 11, 2018 21:32

Protests and strikes are already planned by Ghana’s largest mining union if the government allows Gold Fields Ltd.’s local unit to fire more than 2,000 staff, Bloomberg reports. Gold Fields is in the process of employing a contractor to operate the Tarkwa location. “We will send a delegation to protest at the company’s next annual general meeting to let all shareholders know how their management is cheating workers,” Prince William Ankrah, general secretary of the 16,000-member Ghana Mine Workers Union, tells Bloomberg in an interview. “[Gold Fields is committing] acts of corporate greed aimed at amassing huge profits at the expense of Ghanaian mine workers.” Gold Fields wants a contractor to take over the Tarkwa operations later this year because the site’s mine life is too short to replace the aging equipment. The mine has an output of about 550,000 ounces of gold annually and could have up to six years of production left.

Bitcoiin 2Gen

Hollywood actor Steven Seagal has become a believer of Bitcoiin2Gen, the 65-year-old former Hollywood action star will be representing the leading cryptocurrency organization, Bitcoiin2Gen, as brand a

By Anna Golubova

The Gold Game Is About To Change: LPMCL Makes It Easier To Join

Anna Golubova Sunday March 11, 2018 21:00

(Kitco News) - London’s $6.8 trillion-a-year gold market is ready for change, according to a Reuters report, which states that the city’s clearing house — the London Precious Metals Clearing Limited (LPMCL) — is making it easier for others to join.

The LPMCL operates the London’s electronic clearing system, which is responsible for clearing and settling all bullion transactions in London.

The changes implemented attempt to make the organization more transparent after a number of accusations of price manipulation.

New reforms will also make the process of joining the group easier by clarifying all the requirements.

“One of the benefits of the new structure has been to make the LPMCL more accessible to new members and to clarify the entry requirements,” Ruth Crowell, Chief Executive of London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), which conducts administrative services for LPMCL, told Reuters when asked about the recent restructuring.

Bitcoiin 2Gen

Hollywood actor Steven Seagal has become a believer of Bitcoiin2Gen, the 65-year-old former Hollywood action star will be representing the leading cryptocurrency organization, Bitcoiin2Gen, as brand a

LPMCL is managed by five banks: HSBC, ICBC Standard Bank, JPMorgan, Scotiabank and UBS. And all five had to sign off on the changes.

The newest member to the group is ICBC, which joined in 2016 and was the first banking group admitted since 2005.

Several other banks tried to join in the past few years and reportedly have failed. For example, sources at LPMCL’s member banks told Reuters that Goldman Sachs’ application was declined.

Another four sources at the LPMCL's member banks said the company lacked “transparency and adequate governance,” Reuters reported.

According to the U.K.’s Companies House register, new LPMCL company was set up to replace the previous one with the same name in September.

“[LPMCL] has recently restructured to reflect the changing corporate and regulatory climate since the Company was incorporated in 2001,” Crowell said. “[The changes were] designed to improve transparency, access to join and the corporate governance of the LPMCL, as well as to provide additional safeguards to the market in the form of revised rules incorporating the latest anti-bribery and corruption provisions.”

Lack of clear requirements meant that the member banks could just “make up reasons” to veto an application, said sources at LPMCL banks.

The new LPMCL company is guided by a charter and a list of application requirements. “Connection to the LPMCL’s Aurum clearing platform and access to a precious metals vault in London . . . would guarantee entry, the sources said,” Reuters said.

There is also a separate category for non-shareholding members. “Membership can now be categorized into User Members and Equity Members,” said Crowell.

AUD/USD enters new week on the high side, near 0.7845 after Friday’s boost

MARCH 11, 2018 6:01 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

AUDUSD

The Aussie buoyed by strong NFP data on Friday, pair enters a new week on a high note.

Aussie Labour Day observations offer a quiet Monday session to kick off the new week.

The AUD/USD is heading into the new week on the high side after climbing on the back of positive NFP figures coinciding with suppressed wage growth weighing the dollar down, trading near 0.7850.

The Aussie caught a ride on Friday following a clean beat for US Non-Farm Payrolls which saw 313k new jobs in the regular economy, far above the 200k median forecasts and previous figures of the same number. The bump in employed persons sent equities higher, but a constraint in wage growth kept the US Dollar on the backfoot with inflation fears temporarily sedated as wage growth continues to lag.

It's going to be a quiet week for the AUD, and Monday promises to be a quiet affair with the Aussie states of Victoria and Tasmania dark in observance of Labour Day. The next data for Austalia will be Investment Lending for Homes figures for January, and bulls will be looking for any kind of positive swing after the previous figure came in at a disappointing 2.6%. Investment Lending for Homes drops early Tuesday at 00:30 GMT.

On the US side, Core CPI is expected to show prices holding steady, with forecasts calling for 1.68%, identical to the previous reading.

AUD/USD Technicals

The pair is still trading dangerously close to the 200-day SMA at 0.7790 and Daily candles are running into resistance from the 34 EMA at 0.7845. Intraday resistance is coming from swing highs at 0.7860 and last week's high of 0.7878 with support from swing lows at 0.7775 and 0.7733.

AUD/JPY trying for 84.00 handle as bullish sentiment carries over from the weekend

MARCH 12, 2018 9:36 AM AEST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

AUDJPY

Risk assets kicking off the new week higher, feeding off of Friday's NFP beat.

Aussie holiday and thin market data promises a quiet Monday session.

The AUD/JPY pair opened the new week higher, trying to make a run for it and capitalize on Friday's risk appetite, currently trading just above 83.90.

The Aussie caught a ride upwards against the Yen last Friday when a bout of risk appetite closed the week, brought on by a surprising upside beat to US Non-Farm Payrolls that saw the American economy add 313k new jobs, a solid outpacing of the 200k forecast. Risk-based assets including the AUD popped on the news to cap off a week that was rife with market stresses amidst ongoing inflation risks and fears of a trade war brewing between the US and countries that don't receive an exemption from Donald Trump's 25% steel tariff that takes effect in two weeks.

A slim week for the Aussie lies ahead data-wise, and Monday promises thin volumes with the Australian states of Victoria and Tasmania shuttered in observance of Labour Day. Early Tuesday will see Investment Lending for Homes data at 00:30 GMT, and the Australian economy could use some good news, as the continent's macro figures have been middling steadily.

Japan is also starting the week on a quiet note, with Bank of Japan (BoJ) Montary Policy Meeting Minutes arriving late on Tuesday at 23:50 GMT, and Machine Orders data for Japan will also be dropping at the same time.

AUD/JPY Technicals

Friday helped the pair extend its recent recovery from a low of 81.48, it's lowest value in over a year, but the pair is still riding in bearish territory, and the 34 EMA is capping off potential gains from 84.54. H4 charts have been trending upwards steadily last week, but a correction may coming due, and support is thin from the previous swing high of 83.15 to the low of 81.50. Major resistance currently sits at the last swing high of 84.15, with last November's low of 84.40 overhead.

Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies Broadly Lower

MARCH 11, 2018 6:08 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – The price of digital currency bitcoin, as well as the other major cryptocurrencies was lower on Sunday as a recent slew of negative headlines continued to weigh on investor sentiment.

Bitcoin was trading at $8,568 on the Bitfinex exchange, down around 7% for the day and not far from Friday’s five-week low of $8351.

Prices came under pressure on Wednesday following reports that the Hong Kong-based Binance cryptocurrency exchange was having problems executing orders.

In a statement on Thursday, Binance said it had halted withdrawals after experiencing what it called “a large scale phishing and stealing attempt” and said no funds were stolen.

Separately Wednesday, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission released an investor alert about the risks of using of cryptocurrency exchanges.

The SEC said that exchanges offering trading of “digital assets that are securities” would have to register with the agency.

“Investors should not assume the trading protocols meet the standards of an SEC-registered national securities exchange,” the agency said.

The developments underlined concerns over the risks to users of cryptocurrency exchanges in the wake of a hack on Japanese exchange Coincheck in January in which around $530 million of digital tokens was stolen.

Japan’s financial regulator issued punishment notices to several cryptocurrency exchanges on Thursday, and suspended operations at two exchanges for a month, amid a crackdown in regulatory scrutiny following the hack.

Other major cryptocurrencies also traded lower, with Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, losing around 5.8% to trade at $682.

The third largest cryptocurrency Ripple was down about 5.6% to $0.76.

Economic Calendar – Top 5 Things to Watch This Week

MARCH 11, 2018 6:41 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Global financial markets will focus on this week’s U.S. inflation data to gauge how it will impact the Federal Reserve’s view on monetary policy in the months ahead.

Staying in the U.S., there is also retail sales data for February. The reports should provide further clues about the strength of the economy ahead of the Fed’s March 20-21 meeting.

Meanwhile, in Europe, investors will await monthly inflation data to assess how fast the European Central Bank will end its massive economic stimulus program in the wake of last week’s ECB meeting.

A monetary policy announcement from the Swiss National Bank will also be in focus, though it’s highly unlikely it will rock the boat policy-wise.

Elsewhere, market participants will keep an eye out for Chinese industrial production data amid recent signs that momentum in the world’s second largest economy remains strong.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of the five biggest events on the economic calendar that are most likely to affect the markets.

1. U.S. Inflation Data

The Commerce Department will publish February inflation figures at 8:30AM ET (1230GMT) Tuesday.

Market analysts expect consumer prices to rise 0.2%, weakening from January’s 0.5% increase, while core inflation is forecast to inch up 0.2%, a touch slower than a month earlier, when core CPI recorded a 0.3% gain.

On a yearly base, core CPI is projected to climb 1.8%, unchanged from the preceding month. Core prices are viewed by the Federal Reserve as a better gauge of longer-term inflationary pressure because they exclude the volatile food and energy categories. The central bank usually tries to aim for 2% core inflation or less.

Rising inflation would be a catalyst to push the Fed toward raising interest rates at a faster pace than currently expected.

Data released Friday showed that U.S. job growth surged in February, recording its biggest increase in more than 1-1/2 years, but a slowdown in wage gains pointed to only a gradual increase in inflation.

That could help dispel any views that the Fed will be forced to tighten policy at a quicker pace than expected this year.

2. U.S. Retail Sales

The Commerce Department will publish data on retail sales for February at 8:30AM ET (12:30GMT) Wednesday.

The consensus forecast is that the report will show retail sales rose 0.3% last month, snapping back after a decline of 0.3% in January.

Core sales are forecast to inch up 0.3%, after holding flat a month earlier.

Rising retail sales over time correlate with stronger economic growth, while weaker sales signal a declining economy. Consumer spending accounts for as much as 70% of U.S. economic growth.

Besides the inflation and retail sales reports, this week’s calendar also features U.S. data on producer prices, building permits, housing starts, industrial production, weekly jobless claims, Michigan consumer sentiment, as well as surveys on manufacturing conditions in the Philadelphia and New York regions.

There are no major speeches from Fed officials scheduled for this week.

Traders are currently putting the chances of a 25-basis-point hike by the Fed at its March 20-21 meeting at around 90%, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool.

Meanwhile, on Wall Street, with few earnings slated for this week, financial stocks will be in focus as Congress considers a bill to loosen post-financial-crisis regulation for smaller banks.

Elsewhere, news out of Washington D.C. is expected to keep investors on their toes, after President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on aluminum and steel late last week.

3. Euro Zone CPI

The euro zone will publish final inflation figures for February at 1000GMT (6:00AM ET) Friday. The report is expected to confirm that consumer prices rose 1.2%, 0.1% slower than in the previous month.

Perhaps more significantly, the core figure, without volatile energy and food prices, is seen holding steady at 1.0%, unchanged from a month earlier.

Final inflation figures for Germany, France, Spain and Italy are also due this week.

The European Central Bank dropped a long-standing pledge at its meeting last week to increase its bond-buying if needed, taking another small step in weaning the euro zone economy off its protracted stimulus.

Keeping its broader policy unchanged, the ECB said it could still extend its 2.55 trillion euro ($3.16 trillion) bond purchase scheme beyond September if needed.

The euro-area economy is undergoing its broadest expansion in a decade. Yet inflation pressures remain feeble, underlining the ECB’s caution in removing stimulus.

4. SNB Policy Assessment

The Swiss National Bank’s quarterly monetary policy assessment is due on Thursday at 0830GMT (4:30AM ET). Most economists forecast the central bank’s benchmark interest rate to remain unchanged at -0.75%.

The SNB is also expected to stick to its commitment to foreign currency interventions if necessary.

SNB Chairman Thomas Jordan is slated to repeat that the Swiss franc remains “highly valued”, despite a brighter economic outlook and recent weakening of the currency.

Most analysts see the SNB staying on hold until the European Central Bank makes its own move to raise interest rates.

5. China Industrial Output

China is to release February industrial production figures at around 0200GMT on Wednesday, amid expectations for an increase of 6.3%, a tad better than the 6.2% recorded in the preceding month.

At the same time, the Asian nation will publish reports on fixed asset investment and retail sales.

Data from China early in the year is typically treated with caution by economists due to business and price distortions caused by the timing of the week-long Lunar New Year celebrations, which fell in late January 2017 but started in mid-February this year.

Analysts expect investors may not get a clearer picture of China’s economic health until first-quarter data is released in April.

Weekly Outlook: March 12 – 16

MARCH 11, 2018 6:55 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – The dollar edged lower against a currency basket on Friday after the latest U.S. employment report showed that while jobs growth recorded big gains wage growth remained sluggish, undermining the case for a faster pace of rate hikes this year.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was at 90.06 in late trade, down 0.11% for the day. The index ended the week up 0.17%.

The Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy added 313,000 jobs last month, beating economists’ forecasts of 200,000. It was the largest monthly increase in one-and-a-half years.

But the report also showed that average hourly earnings rose by just 0.1% in February for an annual rate of 2.6%, down from 2.8% in January.

The slowdown in wage growth dampened expectations for four rate hikes by the Federal Reserve this year, bearish for the dollar, which tends to become more attractive to yield-seeking investors when interest rates rise.

The dollar had edged lower earlier in the week amid concerns over trade tensions, following President Donald Trump’s decision to impose heavy tariffs on U.S. imports of steel and aluminum.

The currency regained ground in the following days after the White House said key U.S. trading partners Canada and Mexico would be exempt from the tariffs.

The euro was little changed against the dollar late Friday, with EUR/USD at 1.2308.

The single currency fell in the previous session after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi downplayed a decision to drop the easing bias from the bank’s rate statement.

Draghi also warned that increasing protectionism posed a threat to the outlook for growth in the euro area.

The dollar rose to one-week highs against the yen, with USD/JPY advancing 0.56% to 106.81.

The Japanese currency remained on the back foot after the country’s central bank kept monetary policy unchanged on Friday, as expected, and reiterated that with inflation still well below target monetary easing is likely to continue for some time.

The euro was also higher against the yen on Friday, with EUR/JPY climbing 0.54% to 131.47 in late trade.

Sterling pushed higher against the greenback, with GBP/USD rising 0.33% to 1.3853, boosted by data showing that UK manufacturing production continued to expand.

In the week ahead, investors will be focusing on Tuesday’s U.S. inflation data to gauge how it will affect the outlook for monetary tightening in the coming months.

Reports on U.S. retail sales and euro zone inflation will also be closely watched.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, March 12

Japan is to publish preliminary data on machine tool orders.

Tuesday, March 13

Australia is to release a report on business confidence.

The U.S. is to produce data on consumer inflation.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz is to speak at an event in Ontario.

Wednesday, March 14

China is to publish data on industrial production and fixed asset investment.

ECB President Mario Draghi is to speak at an event in Frankfurt.

Later in the day, the U.S. is to release data on retail sales and producer price inflation.

Thursday, March 15

New Zealand is to report on fourth quarter economic growth.

The Swiss National Bank is to announce its latest monetary policy decision and publish its rate statement.

The U.S. is to release a string of economic reports, including data on jobless claims, import prices and manufacturing activity in the New York and Philadelphia regions.

Friday, March 16

The euro zone is to publish revised inflation data.

Canada is to report on manufacturing sales.

The U.S. is to round up the week with data on building permits, housing starts and industrial

Crude Oil Prices – Weekly Outlook: March 12 – 16

MARCH 11, 2018 7:16 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Oil prices rallied sharply on Friday, scoring a weekly gain, as traders cheered data showing the number of U.S. oil rigs fell for the first time in seven weeks, pointing to a potential slowdown in domestic oil output.

Improved appetite for risk-sensitive assets in the wake of strong U.S. jobs data and news of a potential U.S.-North Korea meeting also contributed to oil’s price rise.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for April delivery surged $1.92, or 3.2%, to close at $62.04 a barrel.

The U.S. benchmark slipped to a three-week low of $59.95 on Thursday, as investors worried over soaring U.S. output levels.

Meanwhile, May Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., jumped $1.88, or roughly 3%, to settle at $65.49 a barrel.

For the week, WTI crude rose 1.3%, while Brent gained 1.7%.

The number of oil drilling rigs fell by four to 796 last week, General Electric (NYSE:GE)’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.

That marked the first such decline in seven weeks, suggesting the possibility of a fall in future output.

That came after data on Wednesday showed U.S. oil production, driven by shale extraction, rose to an all-time high of 10.37 million barrels per day (bpd), staying above Saudi Arabia’s output levels and within reach of Russia, the world’s biggest crude producer.

Analysts and traders have recently warned that booming U.S. shale oil production could potentially derail OPEC’s effort to end a supply glut.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, along with some non-OPEC members led by Russia, have been restraining production by 1.8 million bpd to curb the market of excess supply. The arrangement, which was adopted last winter, expires at the end of 2018.

In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer and how fast output levels will continue to rise.

Oil traders will also focus on monthly reports from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties and the International Energy Agency to assess global oil supply and demand levels.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is to issue a monthly update on shale-oil production levels

Tuesday

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies.

Wednesday

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Counties will publish its monthly assessment of oil markets.

Later on, the U.S. EIA is to release weekly data on oil and gasoline stockpiles.

Thursday

The International Energy Agency will release its monthly report on global oil supply and demand.

The U.S. government will publish a weekly report on natural gas supplies in storage.

Friday

Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.

Gold / Silver / Copper Prices – Weekly Outlook: March 12 – 16

MARCH 11, 2018 7:24 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Gold prices rebounded from the lows of the day on Friday to close slightly higher after the U.S. dollar edged lower as February’s U.S. jobs report dampened expectations for a faster rate of rate hikes this year.

Gold futures for April delivery settled up 0.17% at $1,324.00 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, prices were almost unchanged.

Friday’s employment report showed that the U.S. economy added 313,000 jobs last month, but average hourly earnings rose by just 0.1% in February for an annual rate of 2.6%, down from 2.8% in January.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was at 90.06 in late trade, down 0.11% for the day. A weaker dollar makes dollar denominated gold more attractive for overseas buyers.

The slowdown in wage growth eased some concerns about the Federal Reserve hiking rates more quickly than expected this year.

Expectations for higher interest rates are typically negative for gold as the precious metal, which does not pay interest, struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates rise.

The dollar had edged lower earlier in the week amid concerns over trade tensions, following President Donald Trump’s decision to impose heavy tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum into the U.S.

The currency regained ground in the following days after the White House said key U.S. trading partners Canada and Mexico would be exempt from the tariffs.

Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver settled up 0.64% at $16.60 a troy ounce, bringing the week’s gains to 0.94%.

Platinum settled at $966.9, up 1.53% for the day to end the week unchanged.

Among base metals, copper for May delivery was up 2.11% at $3.14 in late trade for a weekly gain of 0.48%.

Prices have fallen since hitting four-year highs in December amid concerns over higher interest rates and the prospect of an economic slowdown in China, the world’s largest consumer of industrial metals.

In the week ahead, investors will be focusing on Tuesday’s U.S. inflation data to gauge how it will affect the outlook for monetary tightening in the coming months.

Reports on U.S. retail sales and euro zone inflation will also be closely watched.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, March 12

Japan is to publish preliminary data on machine tool orders.

Tuesday, March 13

Australia is to release a report on business confidence.

The U.S. is to produce data on consumer inflation.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz is to speak at an event in Ontario.

Wednesday, March 14

China is to publish data on industrial production and fixed asset investment.

ECB President Mario Draghi is to speak at an event in Frankfurt.

Later in the day, the U.S. is to release data on retail sales and producer price inflation.

Thursday, March 15

New Zealand is to report on fourth quarter economic growth.

The Swiss National Bank is to announce its latest monetary policy decision and publish its rate statement.

The U.S. is to release a string of economic reports, including data on jobless claims, import prices and manufacturing activity in the New York and Philadelphia regions.

Friday, March 16

The euro zone is to publish revised inflation data.

Canada is to report on manufacturing sales.

The U.S. is to round up the week with data on building permits, housing starts and industrial

Resumen de la semana

Guillermo Barba

TLCAN: ¿un 'muerto viviente'? amenaza que no abona a la 'negociación'. Si Trump confirma esta medida de gravar esas y otras mercancías –como lo ha hecho ya con los páneles solares y las lavadoras-, la realidad es que el TLCAN estaría acabado en la práctica. Como recordará, para nosotros ese es el escenario más probable, con lo que el acuerdo comercial ya sería un 'muerto viviente'. Incluso si al final el TLCAN sobrevive, no será más abierto como debería, sino más restrictivo, un tratado de 'menos libre comercio'. Valdría quizá más la pena, cancelarlo de una vez. Lo peor de todo, es que Trump parece dispuesto a ir con todo por una 'guerra comercial' contra todo el mundo, pues se siente convencido de que obligará a los socios de su país, a aceptar las condiciones y restricciones al comercio que les quiere imponer. De hecho, la renuncia de Gary Cohn, el principal asesor económico de Trump, por su desacuerdo con dicha 'guerra comercial', pensamos que se trata de una señal más de que el mercantilismo y el proteccionismo, son las (absurdas) ideas que sigue prevaleciendo en la Oficina Oval. Esta es una nueva alerta amarilla para el peso, razón por la cual insistimos en la sugerencia a nuestros suscriptores de que continúen minimizando sus tenen –y por eso deben ser también incluidas en su cartera de inversión-, pero incluso si ese es el caso, el peso caería con él aún más. Trump está obsesionado con reducir el déficit comercial, pues ene la idea equivocada de que con ese déficit, la economía estadounidense sale perdiendo. No es así. De hecho, gracias a las abundantes importaciones de su país, los estadounidenses gozan de una amplísima variedad de bienes compitiendo en sus mercados, lo que hace posible mejores precios para los consumidores. En fin. Como podrá entenderse, si la apertura comercial hace que haya más mercancías compitiendo con calidad y precio, en beneficio de los compradores que así reciben mejores precios, hacer lo contrario, o sea, encarecer las importaciones por culpa de los aranceles como Trump quiere, sólo va a perjudicar a los propios estadounidenses. Un efecto búmeran. Por eso debemos insistir en que en México, tanto el gobierno saliente como el entrante, gane quien gane la elección presidencial, deben resistirse a la tentación del contraataque. El proteccionismo se combate con comercio libre auténtico, y no hay país que se haya abierto de par en par que le haya ido mal, mientras que a los que más se cierran y quieren controlarlo todo, terminan hundiéndose. El camino ahí está más que marcado, sólo hay que tomarlo. Eso sí, como la verdad es muy poco probable que se haga lo correcto, ustedes, estimados inversores, no pueden sentarse a esperar lo mejor y cruzarse de brazos. Tomemos acción preventiva, que de las crisis y la volatilidad de los mercados, es de donde se puede sacar más provecho.Mercados en la mira La inversión más alta al menor riesgo Un inversionista prudente puede detectar cuándo un activo se convierte en un alto riesgo y luego ene la sensatez de mover sus fondos a uno que sea de menor riesgo. Sin embargo, la mayoría de los inversores no siguen esta práctica, ya que son sorprendidos cuando se produce una caída en los mercados… una y otra vez. Así lo indica un articulo del blog SRSrocco Report –uno de nuestros favoritos-, que pone a la plata como el activo de más alto potencial de retorno y con menos riesgo, inclusive menos que el mercado accionario y… que los bienes raíces. Pero, ¿cómo puede la plata tener menos riesgo que los bienes raíces, si siempre se dice que éstos aumentan de valor? El reporte menciona que en este momento, invertir en propiedades se está volviendo una actividad de riesgo. El precio promedio actual de viviendas en Estados Unidos, por ejemplo, es un 30 por ciento más alto que su máximo anterior en 2007, justo antes de que reventara la burbuja de las hipotecas subprime, y a su vez, está un 52 por ciento más alto que el mínimo en 2009, cuando los precios estaban deprimidos y la crisis financiera global golpeó profundamente. “Sin embargo, los estadounidenses se amontonan para comprar hogares nuevos y existentes porque creen que los precios continuarán siendo más altos para siempre. Desafortunadamente para los propietarios y compradores, la política actual de la Reserva Federal para aumentar las tasas de interés durante el próximo año no es positiva para el mercado inmobiliario”, dice el reporte. Si en este momento los bienes raíces son riesgosos, el mercado accionario lo es mucho más. El índice Dow Jones está 22 por ciento más arriba que durante 2007 y, si se compara con el periodo más bajo en 2009, el índice está 73 por ciento más caro. “Una vez más, cuando los activos están muy por encima de sus valores de referencia, entran en una categoría de alto riesgo”, dice SRSrocco. Mientras que la plata representa mucho menor riesgo. Esta gráfica, incluida en el reporte, puede ser mucho más ilustrativa. La plata es un metal muy importante para el futuro, en especial para la industria, si se miran sobre todo los electrónicos y los autos. Y la inversión ene que ser mientras crece la demanda, así lo indicó Michael Steinmann, presidente y director general de la minera Pan American Silver. En una entrevista con Kitco News, el directivo dijo que Pan American Silver es rentable con los actuales precios. Productores de plata esperan nuevo de la plata. “Es un buen comienzo, y estoy convencido de que en los próximos años veremos nuevos picos en los precios (del metal precioso).” El directivo indicó que la mecanización y aumento de productividad les ha ayudado a ser más rentables, y mencionó la expansión de los proyectos de México, como la mina de cielo abierto de Dolores (Chihuahua) y La Colorada (Zacatecas). Se terminará una larga espera de 25 años cuando China pueda, por fin, comercializar los primeros contratos de futuros de petróleo denominados en yuanes, desafiando así los tradicionales futuros del WTI en dólares. China iniciará los contratos de futuros en su moneda local en el mercado de Shanghai el 26 de marzo. El inicio de las operaciones, abierto a los extranjeros, marcará el final de años de retrasos y desde el primer intento de China de un contrato nacional en 1993, indicó Bloomberg. China es el mayor consumidor de crudo en el mundo, importó 8.43 millones de barriles de crudo diarios en promedio para incrementar sus reservas y tener independencia energéca. Alasdair Macleod, jefe de invesgación de Goldmoney, dice que esta historia es importante para el dólar y el oro, pues China se está posicionando como el centro de comercio del metal precioso y, ahora, del crudo. China desafía el reino del dólar La amenaza del presidente Donald Trump de imponer tarifas de hasta el 25 por ciento al acero y 10 por ciento al aluminio importado, podría traer consecuencias a los mercados financieros si los países afectados deciden tomar represalias, como reducir su tenencia en bonos del tesoro estadounidenses. Si China, Japón y otras naciones deciden repentinamente deciden reducir sus tenencias (en bonos), los mercados podrían estar en un mal camino, indica un análisis de Reuters. Los rendimientos de los bonos del Tesoro son puntos de referencia para el retorno total de las acciones y otros activos. También son utilizados por los bancos y otros prestamistas para determinar cuánto cobran a los consumidores de intereses en créditos. Este amago proteccionista de Trump, quien considera que las guerras comerciales son “buenas”, no podría llegar en peor momento. Justo cuando su gobierno y el Congreso aprobaron un recorte de impuestos que esperan subsanar con más emisión de deuda, es cuando más necesita a los otros países para que compren bonos del Tesoro. Estados Unidos y China son los mayores tenedores de este instrumento. Bonos del Tesoro, la venganza continua. Los fondos de inversión cotizados (ETFs, por sus siglas en inglés) respaldados en oro se mantuvieron en 2,393.4 toneladas, o su equivalente en 101,000 millones de dólares, al empo que los fondos perdieron 5.1 toneladas durante febrero, reportó el Consejo Mundial del Oro. Las entradas globales estuvieron dominadas por fondos cotizados en Asia, que agregaron 7.9 toneladas a sus tenencias durante febrero, mientras que los flujos en el resto del mundo fueron negativos. ETFs 'respaldados' en oro pierden en febrero La industria de la falsificación de oro entró en una nueva fase de sofiscación, pues ahora es más común encontrar lingotes apócrifos circulando en el mercado. Ante este problema creciente, el Equipo de Trabajo Anti falsificación (ACTF, por sus siglas en inglés), está alertando a las autoridades estadounidenses en cómo afrontar el problema. La ACTF, una asociación formada por expertos en numismática, también ha comenzado a trabajar con el personal nacional de capacitación de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza (CBP) para identificar los medios más efectivos de diseminar información y brindar capacitación a los agentes de CBP en el campo. Muchas monedas de oro falsas vienen de mercados emergentes, como China, Rusia y Europa del Este. Aunque estoy convencido de que el final del mercado bajista del oro llegó en diciembre de 2015, el hecho es que ha estado formando un piso durante cinco años más o menos. Necesitamos ver un rompimiento sólido por encima del nivel de $1,350 la onza, y para los técnicos, el oro ha formado un patrón inverso de cabeza y hombros, con el cuello quedando en ese precio. El oro deberá romper y permanecer en y por encima de ese nivel, y estamos bastante seguros de que eso sucederá este año con un objetivo de precio de al menos $1,450. En otras palabras, estamos buscando aproximadamente un 20% de alza desde los mínimos de 2018. Hicimos una encuesta en nuestra cuenta de Twitter y preguntamos cuántos pensaban que el desempeño de la plata superaría al del oro en 2018. La respuesta fue que 75% pensó que eso ocurriría. Con la ratio (razón) oro/plata en aproximadamente 80 a 1 recientemente y la plata completamente pasada por alto, también pensamos que un cambio de oro a plata ene sendo. Las carteras agresivas podrían considerar un 'trade' a largo plazo yéndose cortos (bajistas) en el oro y largos (alcistas) en la plata. Si estamos en lo correcto con respecto al precio del oro y al desempeño superior de la plata, podríamos ver un alza de 30% de esta última en 2018, lo que la colocaría cerca del nivel de $21 la onza. Una vez que la ratio llegue a 72 a 1 y PERMANEZCA en ese nivel, veremos mucho más interés en los metales preciosos y un efecto positivo en las acciones mineras. Sabemos que los índices mineros están siendo aplastados y muchos de ustedes están preocupados por el rendimiento. Esto dará la vuelta este año y la paciencia será recompensada. Nuestra selección especulativa sobre ETI se estará presentando en el PDAC para Disrupt Mining, un evento patrocinado por Goldcorp. Por El mes pasado dijimos que los mercados estaban cambiando para el largo plazo. Poco después vimos una caída significativa en el mercado de valores de Estados Unidos. ¿Es éste el comienzo de un mercado bajista? El tiempo lo dirá. Lo que necesitamos enfatizar es que un nuevo mercado alcista en el oro ha comenzado. De hecho, el último boletin de Jim Rickards resalta justo este punto. Una creencia común es que el oro se ve afectado cuando las tasas de interés suben, pero esto es una falacia total, porque el oro sólo retrocede cuando la tasa de interés real es positiva, lo cual significa que necesitaríamos tasas de interés más altas, de 6% o 7%, para tener una afectación significativa en el metal precioso. Si ETI gana el evento, parece lógico que haya mucha más exposición a la empresa y la tecnología, lo que significa mayores precios de las acciones a lo largo del empo. La compañía colocó un comunicado de prensa en el que informó haber tomado un financiamiento de 10 millones de dólares, y básicamente, Roth Financial tomó la mayor parte de la oferta. Regresé de la conferencia de Anarchapulco y sin duda lo pasamos genial. Uno de los aspectos más destacados fue un discurso pronunciado por Ron Paul sobre la importancia de la libertad. Esto me trajo a la mente la cita de este mes; parece que los principios necesarios para mantener una sociedad libre y justa simplemente ya no existen, y esto es muy preocupante. La asistencia fue probablemente del triple del año pasado. Bitcoin en ese momento tenía el mismo precio que el oro y en menos de un año alcanzó más de $19,000, para luego retrocede a alrededor de $11,000. Muchos de los más jóvenes se senan "ricos", y el tema dominante era todo sobre las criptomonedas. Lode.one tuvo un stand en la conferencia y recibió interés, pero no parecía que demasiados estuvieran preocupados pensando en una divisa electrónica "respaldada" en plata, menos cuando tantos tuvieron movimientos masivos al alza sin estar sustentados en nada. Un joven se me acercó y me dijo que escuchó una entrevista nuestra y que vendió un poco de bitcoin a $17,000 y compró plata. Los hechos permanecen de nuestro lado, porque el IPC (Índice de Precios al Consumidor) para Estados Unidos subió 0.3% en diciembre, y más importante, hasta 0.5% en enero, lo que significa un nivel anualizado del 6%, suficiente para provocar una preocupación real en los mercados financieros, tanto de acciones como de bonos. Además, los diferenciales de tasas de interés se están ampliando en el extremo largo de la curva de rendimientos conforme se acercan al 3%, un número bastante modesto comparado con estándares históricos. Pero incluso a este nivel al gobierno estadounidense le cuesta mucho más pagar la deuda debida a la Reserva Federal (Fed). Piénselo de esta manera: hace cuatro años la tasa de interés promedio sobre esta deuda fue del 1.2%; ahora está en 2.7%, un aumento significativo. Además, los precios de las importaciones subieron 1% en enero, que es más del 12% sobre una base anual, de nuevo un nivel alto suficiente para que los mercados financieros lo noten. Esto tomó lugar cuando los pedidos de bienes duraderos se desplomaron en enero. Mientras esto sucede, la Fed dice que están decididos a aumentar las tasas de interés este año. Esto es significativo porque Estados Unidos es el más grande importador del mundo debido a que las políticas del gobierno nacional nos han hecho menos competitivos para producir aquí (en EU). Esto queda mejor ilustrado a través de la ampliación del déficit comercial en 2017, que parece que continuará creciendo indefinidamente, incluso mientras "Estados Unidos se esté haciendo grande otra vez". ¡Otra vez! "El déficit comercial de diciembre de 2017 fue de $74.4b, la mayor brecha comercial desde octubre. Tenemos que poner todo esto en un contexto en que el dólar ha caído más del 15% en poco más de un año, de 104 a 88 en el Índice Dólar. Éste es un movimiento grande para cualquier moneda, y más aún para la divisa de reserva del mundo. El índice de materias primas se ha estado moviendo más alto, y tal vez los ciclos de productos comenzarán un viaje mayor; sin embargo, todavía creemos que esto es poco probable con tasas de interés más altas, y Corea del Sur reportando que en el cuarto trimestre del año pasado el PIB fue negativo por tercera vez en este siglo. Este país es un indicador líder para nosotros, porque refleja la salud financiera de Asia. David Harquail, CEO de Franco Nevada, fue entrevistado por Kitco en la BMO Mining Conference. Ésta es mi síntesis de los comentarios del Sr. Harquail que considero lo más importante en la entrevista: "El oro subirá significativamente más alto. No estoy seguro del movimiento a corto plazo… Soy presidente del Consejo Mundial del Oro (World Gold Council), y una de nuestras mayores iniciativas en este momento es penetrar en los fondos de pensiones, fondos de dotación y los fondos de riqueza soberana, porque casi no poseen oro. La mayoría de los ETF (fondos cotizados) están en manos de hedgers; no tenemos tenedores de oro de largo plazo en mercados institucionales… En abril tendremos una mesa redonda… invitando a los mayores administradores de fondos para escuchar a Alan Greenspan y otras personas respetadas para hacer el caso de inversión en oro simplemente con tener justo una candad de ½ punto porcentual (de sus fondos) en oro. Si haces las matemáticas, cada 300 toneladas de demanda de oro mueven $100 en el precio. Un medio por ciento movería el oro de $500 a $600. Ésa es la intención. Pensamos que si el WGC acierta y hace este caso, podríamos ver un movimiento en el precio del oro.” Esto es algo que me ha inquietado por mucho tiempo, desde que Nick Barisheff, de BMG, tenía a Ibbotson y Asociados haciendo un análisis de cartera que demuestra que todos los portafolios de inversión se desempeñan mejor bajo TODAS las condiciones económicas teniendo exposición al oro. Jeff Christian, de CPM, también ha hecho un caso para el oro en todas las carteras para proporcionar el equilibrio adecuado. El número es bastante significativo, y sugiere tener en cartera el 20% en el metal precioso, lo crea o no. Haremos un esfuerzo para sacar esta información a través de algunas entrevistas y podcasts en el futuro. Como indicó Harquail, sólo medio punto porcentual de las carteras de esos fondos puede producir un movimiento de precio significativo en el oro; sólo imaginen si estos fondos pusieran un 5% de ponderación, que es mucho más en línea con lo que se requiere. La demanda de deuda de Estados Unidos (bonos) se está reduciendo, ya que la candad de deuda nueva está aumentando rápidamente. El Tesoro de EU esma que se emitirán $1.4 billones este año, en un momento en que la Fed misma está recortando compras junto con otros Estados nacionales. Esto pondrá presión al alza sobre las tasas de interés, incluso si la Reserva Federal decide renunciar a los aumentos de tasas que se esperan este año. Recuerde: la Unión Americana ene burbujas en la deuda corporativa y en la deuda de los hogares, al igual que en 2007, impulsado por una burbuja de crédito insostenible que explotará en algún punto, tal vez con un nuevo presidente de la Fed "novato" . Siempre que la humanidad se ha desviado del buen dinero (oro y plata), las consecuencias han sido catastróficas. Estamos ahora en la fase final del ciclo de impresión monetaria, y como el sistema trata de mantener esta ilusión de que todo está bien, los metales preciosos comenzarán la tercera pierna final más alta con el precio en papel del oro probablemente llegando a los 5,000 dólares como mínimo. Otro punto que hacen algunos otros es que incluso si los principales índices en los mercados de valores de EU cayeran en un 50% desde el nivel de hoy, aún serían dos veces más caros de lo que han estado en promedio durante los úlmos 140 años. Apoyando aún más el caso de que el desempeño de la plata superará al del oro es el hecho de que los márgenes de flujo de caja operavo y libre del minero de oro, son mucho más amplios con relación a los márgenes de productores de plata primaria. Los costos totales de sostenimiento de los mineros de plata primarios han disminuido significavamente durante los úlmos 5 años, lo que se debió, en parte, a la "reducción de grasa" de las operaciones, una caída en los costos de energía (que ha comenzado a reverrse) y, lo más notable, una drásca reducción en la exploración de Brownfield y Greenfield. Menos exploración ha llevado a una disminución de las reservas en la industria. Este estado de cosas no puede connuar y los productores primarios de plata necesitan inverr en la exploración que ha causado y connuará causando que aumente el costo de sostenimiento total promedio (AISC, por sus siglas en inglés). Más para apoyar el punto: el productor de plata promedio no está ganando dinero en los niveles actuales, más específicamente generando flujo de efecvo libre. Muchos de los que están generando flujo de caja libre están yéndose a minar la parte más valiosa de sus minas. Mencionamos esto porque si bien el costo de producción no determina el precio justo para la materia prima de que se trate, es un buen indicador de hacia dónde se dirige conforme candades crecientes de oferta van dejando de estar disponibles cuando el costo de producción permanece por encima del mercado durante periodos prolongados. Ÿ ·Desde 2010, Bitcoin se ha desplomado 11 veces en un 30% o más, incluido un descenso masivo del 93% en 2011. La "recuperación" promedio de BTC, es decir, el empo que tardó en llegar a un nuevo máximo, fue de un poco más de siete meses. Ÿ ·Su mínimo de este año hasta el momento es de $ 5,900 tocado en enero. Ÿ ·El 15 de febrero, había aumentado un 75%, superando los $ 10,000. En la guerra hay un viejo dicho, “para cada técnica existe una contra; para cada contra hay una nueva técnica”. Esto es cierto para el combate individual, para ejércitos, para estados nación. Y es válido también en el espacio de blockchain. El fabricante de wallets (carteras) sicas Ledger, vende uno de los productos más populares en el mercado para almacenamiento fuera de línea de cripto-activos como bitcoin y ether. Este mes han advertido públicamente de un peligro recién descubierto, y hasta el momento (presumiblemente) no ejecutado que enfrentan los usuarios de Ledger: el "Ataque del hombre en medio". Breves de Blockchain. Las carteras de Ledger generan la dirección de recepción mostrada utilizando un código JavaScript que se ejecuta en la máquina huésped... el 'malware' (software maligno) simplemente puede reemplazar el código responsable de generar la dirección de recepción con su propia dirección, provocando que todos los depósitos futuros sean enviados al atacante. Dado que el software de la cartera sica de Ledger se almacena en la carpeta de AppData, el 'malware' podría ser capaz de modificar la dirección del receptor dirección. Como dice el informe de Ledger, "Todo lo que el malware necesita hacer es reemplazar una línea del código... esto puede ser logrado con menos de 10 líneas de Python (lenguaje de programación)". La manera de solucionar este evento potencialmente ruinoso es "siempre verifique su dirección de recepción en la pantalla del dispositivo haciendo clic en el 'botón del monitor'”. El arculo de bitcoin.com sugiere que usar la verificación de 2 pasos 2FA (Two Factor Autenticación), como lo hace Trezor, sería un paso importante para hacer que el uso de Ledger sea más seguro. Como para reforzar nuestra premisa original, Ledger también ha declarado, "La seguridad es una carrera armamentística. Estamos en este camino a largo plazo y estamos preparados para ello.” Y, querido lector de TMR, si va a participar en este espacio, debería estar preparado también. ¿Cuál es la moraleja de esta historia? A diferencia del almacenamiento tradicional de sus fondos en alguna institución, por ejemplo, un banco o corretaje, USTED es totalmente responsable de asegurar y salvaguardar la transmisión de tus criptomonedas y tokens. Si 'mete la pata' o lo 'atoran' con algo así como el 'ataque el hombre en medio', ¡adiós suerte! Bitconnect (BCC) se promociona a sí misma como "plataforma de cambio de divisas y préstamos". Su modelo de negocios era "hacer que las personas cambien su bitcoin por monedas 'Bitconnect'. El bitcoin recibido sería entonces prestado a otros, recaudando intereses en la transacción. El sio luego "valoraría" sus monedas bajo su propia métrica interna, en lugar de hacerlo con base en imperativa oferta / demanda del mercado, como casi todos los otros cripto-activos que cotizan en diferentes bolas de intercambio. De noviembre de 2017 a enero de 2018, BCC se comercializó a un precio interno valorado en 450 dólares cada uno. (El otoño pasado, cuando el BCC rondaba los $300, nos pidió un colega que le dijéramos lo que pensábamos de esta idea. Nosotros despectivamente lo llamamos "BitDisConnect" y opinamos: "¡No es para nosotros!") El 15 de enero, el precio bajó de $ 450 a $ 20… ¡En un día! Ahora se negocia por alrededor de 2.35 dólares. Bitcoin, al cierre de esta edición ronda los 9,300 dólares. Uno se pregunta si BCC ha vendido esas monedas o si están todavía manteniéndolas. En efecto, los clientes que transfirieron bitcoins a BCC, a un precio de cerca de $ 9,000, ahora valen menos de $ 3.00. Mientras escribimos, hay un buen número de demandas contra Bitconnect y los reguladores han congelado sus activos. Quizás ahora pueda ver por qué esta sección de Breves de Blockchain dentro de The Morgan Report ha adoptado la posición de que, aunque creemos que, si bien la tecnología blockchain y ciertos cripto-acvos que se comercian / comerciarán están aquí para quedarse, el campo de más de 1,000 'ofertas' de monedas que existen está lleno de modelos de negocio mal concebidos y abiertas estafas. En enero de 2018, TMR publicó lo que probablemente fue el primer informe formal sobre el Proyecto LODE en evolución, presentando la introducción de una criptomoneda/token de plata criptográfica, cuyo modelo de transacción tendrá una función doble para su respaldo en plata. Estamos bastante opmistas respecto a este proyecto, y hemos inverdo algunos de nuestros propios fondos en él. Pero siempre hemos aconsejado que haga su propia invesgación adicional antes de decidir verse involucrado, y si parcipa, sea conservador y consciente de que nada está garanzado de antemano. TMR ha adoptado este enfoque con cada idea que hemos presentado a nuestros suscriptores (por cierto, puede solicitar cualquiera o todos los números mensuales anteriores o preguntar por email a Guillermo Barba, si acaso no está al tanto de algún proyecto o empresa que aquí mencionamos), por ejemplo, la historia de Mineworx / EnviroLeach y ahora LODE también. A veces una idea parece tener tanto potencial que, si ene éxito, el retorno podría ser muchas veces la inversión inicial de la persona; en otras palabras, podría ser un 'trade' asimétrico, donde el " pequeño dinero" se convierta en "gran dinero". Y si no sale como se espera, entonces los inversores han perdido algo de capital, pero no lo suficiente como para sacarlos de la arena de la inversión, y pueden así "vivir otro día" para inverr en alguna otra idea que cambie el tablero financiero. Recientemente recibí un correo electrónico con respecto al argumento de Jim Rickards sobre que los Derechos Especiales de Giro (DEG) del Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI) potencialmente reemplacen al dólar estadounidense en el comercio internacional. Enendo que esa información dentro de ese correo electrónico no constuye ninguna recomendación o consejo; sin embargo, simplemente quiero saber si crees que los DEGs enen ese potencial, dados sus fundamentales. El Sr. Rickards hace un muy fuerte argumento al respecto. No obstante, todavía estoy un poco (cauteloso) sobre cómo esta tecnología de Libro de Contabilidad Distribuido funcionará. Comentario: He leído los argumentos tanto en su bolen y libro. Es posible, pero para mí no parece probable. A medida que las guerras cambiarias (crisis) connúen, te actualizaremos a y a los demás suscriptores. Las cosas están cambiando en el sistema financiero todo el empo. Cartas al editor Por: David Morgan Carta 1 Estoy buscando un buen punto de entrada de largo plazo. Las acciones mineras parecen estar en una caída libre úlmamente. ¿Debo ingresar ahora o esperar un poco? Gracias por tus opiniones. Comentario: Sugiero acumulación, comprar a lo largo del empo. Tomar los pisos exactos es muy dificil, especialmente si el piso es uno muy pro ¿Usted está de acuerdo en comprar monedas sicas de oro y plata en una proporción de 2 a 1 en favor de la plata, tomando en cuenta que ofrece mayor valor? Este enfoque es presentado por Mike Maloney en su excelente libro sobre la compra de oro y plata. Además, ¿es una buena estrategia tomar ganancia cuando el precio se haya duplicado, manteniendo la inversión en juego? De esa manera estarías invirtiendo gras. ¿Estarías de acuerdo con ello? Comentario: Siempre hemos pensado que la plata superará el rendimiento del oro en un mercado alcista. El enfoque de Mike hace sendo, pero hay más riesgo con la plata en un mercado bajista. Ahora. Sí, hemos mencionado ese po 'inversión gras' numerosas veces cuando hablamos de acciones, pero podría aplicarse como describes también en monedas sicas. Carta 3 Estaré asisendo a la PDAC en Toronto y estaré dando un discurso este año. Las cosas cambiaron durante el mes pasado y los organizadores me han pedido que dé una presentación. De nuevo, el propósito principal es reunirse con el equipo de Lemuria y discur nuevos negocios. Posiblemente haga algunas entrevistas con algunas empresas de micro-capitalización y a menos que lea sobre ellos favorablemente aquí en el TMR de paga, en casi todos los casos es mejor quedarse a un lado. Como dije el mes pasado, tenemos mucho que esperar en 2018 y estamos aquí para ayudarlo a lograr un gran año. Por sombrío que parezca en este momento, las fuerzas se están alineando tanto que casi garantizan un movimiento alcista significativo en los metales preciosos y durante un tiempo en todo el sector de materias primas (commodities).

The Realest Talk on Gold Right Now - Rick Rule, Amir Adnani

Mar 09, 2018

Rick Rule

Amir Adnani, Chairman, Goldmining Inc.

Mining stocks should be trading a lot higher, given that the companies are performing much better than they used to, said Rick Rule, CEO of Sprott U.S. Holdings. Amir Adnani, Chairman of GoldMining Inc., noted that there is a disconnect between gold prices and gold stocks, citing interest in other base metals as a reason. “If you look at gold stocks as a basket today, compared to gold stocks back in 2016, they’re probably 50% lower. The ratio of the gold index share price would suggest that we’re in a bear market, but we’re arguably $40 away from the magic $1,365 resistance level,” Adnani told Kitco News on the sidelines of the PDAC 2018


FRIDAY MARCH 9, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

Jun E-mini S&Ps (ESM18 +0.01%) this morning are down slightly by -0.02% ahead of monthly U.S. payrolls data later this morning. Global stock markets received a boost on news of an agreement for a summit between the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea, which eases geopolitical concerns. European stocks are down -0.12%, dragged lower on weaker-than-expected data from Germany n Jan industrial production and Jan exports. Asian stocks settled mostly higher: Japan +0.47%, Hong Kong +1.11%, China +0.57%, Taiwan +0.38%, Australia +0.34%, Singapore +0.15%, South Korea +0.92%, India -0.13%. Asian markets rallied with China's Shanghai Composite and Japan's Nikkei Stock Index at 1-week highs, after President Trump agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The dollar index (DXY00 +0.08%) is up +0.05% at a 1-week high. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.12%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.57% at a 1-week high.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 -0.07%) are down -3 ticks.

Kansas City Fed President George said above trend growth this year "will likely leader to tighter conditions in labor and product markets and, possibly, higher inflation. To sustain the expansion without pushing the economy beyond its capacity limits and creating inflationary pressures, it will be important for the Fed to continue its gradual normalization of interest rates."

German Jan industrial production unexpectedly fell -0.1% m/m, weaker than expectations of +0.6% m/m.

The German Jan trade balance shrank to a surplus of +17.4 billion euros, narrower than expectations of +18.1 billion euros and the smallest surplus in a year. Jan exports unexpectedly fell -0.5% m/m, weaker than expectations of +0.3% m/m and the biggest decline in 7 months. Jan imports fell -0.5% m/m, weaker than expectations of -0.1% m/m.

China Feb CPI rose +2.9% y/y, stronger than expectations of +2.5% y/y and the fastest pace of increase in 4-1/4 years. Feb PPI rose +3.7% y/y, weaker than expectations of +3.8% y/y and the slowest pace of increase in 15 months.

China Feb new yuan loans rose +839.3 billion yuan, weaker than expectations of +900 billion yuan. Feb aggregate financing rose +1.170 trillion yuan, stronger than expectations of +1.067 trillion yuan.

UK Jan manufacturing production rose +0.1% m/m, weaker than expectations of +0.2% m/m. Jan industrial production rose +1.3% m/m, weaker than expectations of +1.5% m/m.

Japan Jan overall household spending unexpectedly rose +2.0% y/y, stronger than expectations of -1.0% y/y and the biggest increase in 7 months.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) Feb nonfarm payrolls (expected +205,000, Jan +200,000) and Feb unemployment rate (expected -0.1 to 4.0%, Jan unch at 4.1%), (2) Feb average hourly earnings (expected +0.2% m/m and +2.8% y/y, Jan +0.3% m/m and +2.9% y/y), (3) Jan wholesale trade sales (Dec +1.2% m/m), (4) Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren (non-voter) speaks on U.S. economic outlook at Springfield Regional Chamber’s annual outlook luncheon in Springfield, MA, and (5) Chicago Fed President Charles Evans (non-voter) speaks on the economy and monetary policy at event hosted by Manhattan Institute Shadow Open Market Committee in NY.

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: none.

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.

Equity conferences this week: J.P. Morgan Gaming Lodging Restaurant & Leisure Management Access Forum on Thu-Fri.

Market Comments

Jun S&P 500 E-mini stock futures (ESM18 +0.01%) this morning are down -0.50 points (-0.02%). Thursday's closes: S&P 500 +0.45%, Dow Jones +0.38%, Nasdaq +0.53%. The S&P 500 on Thursday rose to a 1-week high and closed higher on an easing of trade concerns after White House trade adviser Navarro said some countries may be exempt from tariffs. There was also carry-over support from rally in European stocks after the ECB slightly raised its 2018 Eurozone GDP forecast to 2.4% from 2.3%. U.S. stocks also received a boost from reduced global growth concerns after China Feb exports surged +44.5% y/y, stronger than expectations of +11.0% y/y and the biggest increase in 3 years.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 -0.07%) this morning are down -3 ticks. Thursday's closes: TYM8 +4.50, FVM8 +2.25. Jun 10-year T-notes on Thursday closed higher on carry-over support from a rally in German bunds after the ECB cut its 2019 inflation forecast to 1.4% from 1.5%, and on the larger-than-expected increase in U.S. weekly jobless claims (+21,000 vs expectations of +10,000).

The dollar index (DXY00 +0.08%) this morning is .up +0.043 (+0.05%) at a 1-week high. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.0015 (-0.12%) and USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.61 (+0.57%) at a 1-week high. Thursday's closes: Dollar Index +0.542 (+0.60%), EUR/USD -0.0099 (-0.80%), USD/JPY +0.16 (+0.15%). The dollar index on Thursday closed higher on reduced concerns about a global trade war after White House trade adviser Navarro said some countries would be exempt from tariffs. There was also weakness in EUR/USD which fell back from a 3-week high and closed lower after the ECB cut its 2019 inflation forecast to 1.4% from 1.5% and after German Jan factory orders fell -3.9% m/m, the biggest decline in a year.

Apr crude oil (CLJ18 +0.70%) this morning is up +51 cents (+0.85%) and Apr gasoline (RBJ18+0.84%) is +0.0188 (+1.01%). Thursday's closes: Apr WTI crude -1.03 (-1.68%), Apr gasoline -0.0426 (-2.23%). Apr crude oil and gasoline on Thursday closed lower with Apr crude at a 3-week low. Crude oil prices were undercut by a stronger dollar and by negative carry-over from Wednesday's EIA data that showed an +0.8% increase in U.S. crude production the week of Mar 2 to a record high of 10.369 million bpd.

Metals prices this morning are mixed with Apr gold (GCJ18 -0.13%) -0.6 (-0.05%), May silver (SIK18 -0.09%) -0.005 (-0.03%), and May copper (HGK18 +0.21%) +0.007 (+0.21%). Thursday's closes: Apr gold -5.9 (-0.44%), May silver +0.006 (+0.04%), May copper -0.0570 (-1.82%). Metals on Thursday settled mixed with Mar copper at 3-week low. Metals prices were undercut by a rally in the dollar and by strength in stocks, which reduced safe-haven demand for precious metals.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

CyberArk Software (CYBR +0.54%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch with a price target of $60.

Kohl's (KSS -4.59%) was upgraded to 'Outpeform' from 'Market Perform' at Cowen with a price target of $74.

Urban Outfitters (URBN -5.23%) was rated a new 'Buy' at Loop Capital Markets with a price target of $46.

Corcept Therapeutics (CORT +3.68%) gained 1% in after-hours trading after it was rated a 'Buy' at B Riley FBR with a price target of $30.

United Natural Foods (UNFI -0.16%) climbed nearly 9% in after-hours trading after it reported Q2 revenue of $2.53 billion, higher than consensus of $2.45 billion, and said it sees full-year revenue of $10.01 billion to $10.16 billion, well above consensus of $9.92 billion.

Global Blood Therapeutics (GBT -5.40%) lost 5% in after-hours trading after it announced a registered offering of 3.5 million shares of its common stock.

VeriFone Systems ({=PAY over 2% in after-hours trading after it said it sees Q2 adjusted EPS of 27 cents to 28 cents, weaker than consensus of 32 cents.

Upland Software (UPLD -0.48%) gained 6% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 adjusted EPS of 37 cents, above consensus of 27 cents.

Flexion Therapeutics (FLXN -1.46%) lost 2% in after-hours trading after sales of its Zilretta were only $335,000, well below consensus of $695,000.

Mattel (MAT -0.06%) fell nearly 5% in after-hours trading after one of its top customers, Toys R Us, was said to prepare for a liquidation of its bankrupt U.S. operations. Hasbro (HAS -0.89%) fell almost 4% in after-hours trading on the news as well.

El Pollo Loco Holdings (LOCO -0.52%) rallied 7% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 proforma EPS of 11 cents, above consensus of 10 cents, and said Q4 systemwide comparable sales were up +1.4%, better than consensus of +1.0%.

Insys Therapeutics (INSY -3.52%) dropped 8% in after-hours trading after it reported a Q4 adjusted loss of -61 cents per share, wider than consensus of -14 cents.

Funko (FNKO +0.89%) jumped nearly 10% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 revenue of $169.5 million, better than consensus of $146.6 million.

InTEST (INTT +2.55%) rallied over 9% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 revenue of $19.40 million, better than consensus of $17.65 million

Otonomy (OTIC +0.93%) fell nearly 6% in after-hours trading after it reported a Q4 loss of -62cents per share, wider than consensus of -60 cents.

AutoWeb (AUTO -3.83%) plunged over 24% in after-hours trading after it reported Q1 adjusted EPS of 1 cents, well below consensus of 15 cents, and then CEO Jeffrey Coats said he will step down following appointment of a successor in the "coming months."

Is There Enough Silver Out There? Endeavour Silver CEO Speaks

Mar 08, 2018

Bradford Cooke CEO, Endeavour Silver

The forecast calls for a multi-year decline in new mining supply of silver, said Endeavour Silver CEO, Bradford Cooke.“Silver is the one metal that is primarily a by-product of copper, lead, and zinc mines, and in a five-year commodity bear market, there are no new copper, lead, and zinc mines,” Cooke told Kitco News on the sidelines of the PDAC 2018. Cooke noted that silver prices for the short-term are already “baked in” as he expects silver to trade in a similar price range in the coming months, with low volatility

What’s Next For World’s Biggest Undeveloped Gold Mine? - Seabridge Gold CEO

Mar 08, 2018

Rudi Fronk CEO, Seabridge Gold

Seabridge Gold’s KSM project has just undergone a successful drilling program at its fourth deposit, said Seabridge Gold CEO, Rudi Fronk.“We had a drill program last year that added over 14 million ounces of gold and 7 billion pounds of copper to resources, at grades that are significantly higher than our reservese,” Fronk told Kitco News on the sidelines of the Gold Stock Analyst Investor Day conference.KSM holds 39 million ounces of gold and 10 billion pounds of copper in reserves, making it one of the world’s largest undeveloped gold mines.Fronk noted that Seabridge Gold maintains an interest in seeking a partner, and that 2017 has been one of their most active years in looking for partnership.

How Will Trump's Steel Tariffs Impact Base Metals Prices? – Jeff Christian

Mar 08, 2018

Jeffrey Christian Managing Partner, CPM Group

Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum, should they be implemented, would have little impact on base metals prices, said Jeff Christian, managing partner for New York based CPM Group.“If [the U.S. government] does proceed [with the tariffs], I think what you’ll see is that there will probably be very little impact for base metals, due to any initial tariffs that the U.S. government does,” Christian told Kitco News on the sidelines of the PDAC 2018. “If we develop into a full-blown trade war, then it becomes sloppier, and quite frankly, I think that base metals may suffer a little bit.

11 Asia-Pacific nations sign TPP trade deal without U.S.

Today 10:05 am JST

By Dave Sherwood and Felipe Iturrieta

SANTIAGO, Chile

Eleven countries including Japan and Canada signed a landmark Asia-Pacific trade agreement without the United States on Thursday in what one minister called a powerful signal against protectionism and trade wars.

In Washington, U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to press ahead with a plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a move that other nations and the International Monetary Fund said could start a global trade war.

The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will reduce tariffs in countries that together amount to more than 13 percent of the global economy - a total of $10 trillion in gross domestic product. With the United States, it would have represented 40 percent.

Heraldo Munoz, Chile's minister of foreign affairs, said the agreement was a strong signal "against protectionist pressures, in favor of a world open to trade, without unilateral sanctions and without the threat of trade wars."

"We will be giving a very powerful signal," he said at a news conference after giving a joint statement with trade ministers from Canada and New Zealand.

Even without the United States, the deal will span a market of nearly 500 million people, making it one of the world's largest trade agreements, according to Chilean and Canadian trade statistics.

The original 12-member agreement, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), was thrown into limbo early last year when Trump withdrew from the deal three days after his inauguration. He said the move was aimed at protecting U.S. jobs.

The 11 remaining nations finalized a revised trade pact in January. That agreement will become effective when at least six member nations have completed domestic procedures to ratify it.

The revised agreement eliminates some requirements of the original TPP demanded by U.S. negotiators, including rules to ramp up intellectual property protection of pharmaceuticals. Governments and activists of other member nations worry the changes will raise the costs of medicine.

The final version of the agreement was released in New Zealand on Feb. 21. The member countries are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

"We're proud ... to show the world that progressive trade is the way forward, that fair, balanced, and principled trade is the way forward, and that putting citizens first is the way forward for the world when it comes to trade," Canadian Trade Minister Francois-Phillippe Champagne said.

In January, Trump, who also has threatened to pull the United States out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, told the World Economic Forum in Switzerland that it was possible Washington might return to the TPP pact if it got a better deal. However, New Zealand's trade minister said that was unlikely in the near term, while Japan has said altering the agreement now would be very difficult.

On Thursday, Trump vowed to impose a 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports, although he said he was willing to strike a deal that could exempt NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada.

Trump announced the planned tariffs last week, rattling financial markets.

Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo, in Santiago for the TPP signing, told Reuters he would not allow the United States to use the tariffs to pressure it in ongoing NAFTA talks. Champagne told Reuters that Canada would not accept duties or quotas from the United States.

Financial regulator punishes 7 cryptocurrency exchanges after hack

Mar. 8 06:30 pm JST

TOKYO

Japanese authorities Thursday ordered two cryptocurrency exchanges to suspend operations as part of a clampdown following a massive hack that saw thieves steal hundreds of millions of dollars in virtual currency.

The Financial Services Agency (FSA) said in a statement it had ordered FSHO and Bit Station, exchanges based in Yokohama and Nagoya, to temporarily halt their operations for a month from Thursday.

The agency alleged that FSHO "does not have a proper system to monitor trading and has not given training to its employees," while an employee of Bit Station "diverted digital currency deposited by clients for his personal use."

Immediate comments from the two exchanges were not available.

Authorities also ordered five other exchanges, including Coincheck, to improve their business practices.

Coincheck was already slapped with sanctions in January following the hack of its systems, which was one of the largest of its kind and resulted in the disappearance of NEM cryptocurrency worth $530 million

At a press conference, Coincheck said it would start reimbursing customers affected by the theft and aim to restart its operations from next week, adding that details would be announced later on the firm's website.

The company, whose offices were searched by authorities last month, has pledged to reimburse about $400 million to all 260,000 customers who lost their holdings of NEM, then the 10th biggest cryptocurrency by market capitalisation.

Coincheck chief operating officer Yusuke Otsuka said the company's system was breached after several staff members opened emails containing malware.

The firm had failed to upgrade its systems to keep up with the rapid expansion of the cryptocurrency market, he said.

Following the fresh FSA order, Coincheck vowed to "thoroughly review its management", take measures to protect its depositors, and deal with money laundering and terrorist funding.

It also said it would rebuild its internal network and strengthen restrictions on access to its server.

Asked whether the firm's top managers would consider resigning to take responsibility for the incident, Coincheck chief executive Koichiro Wada said: "We are in a process of review, that includes that (option)."

In February, seven plaintiffs -- two companies and five individuals -- filed a lawsuit against Coincheck seeking the reimbursement of 19.53 million yen ($184,000) in lost virtual currency and further compensation for interest lost due to the hack.

Thieves syphoned away 523 million units of the cryptocurrency NEM from Coincheck during the January 26 hack, which exceeded the $480 million in bitcoin stolen in 2014 from another Japanese exchange, MtGox.

That hack prompted Japan to issue new regulations, requiring exchanges to obtain a licence from the FSA, but Coincheck was allowed to continue operating while the agency was reviewing its application.

As many as 10,000 businesses in Japan are thought to accept bitcoin, and bitFlyer -- the country's main bitcoin exchange -- saw its user base grow beyond one million in November.

Gold Weaker On Lack of Fresh, Bullish Inputs

Jim Wyckoff Thursday March 08, 2018

Kitco News

in early U.S. trading Thursday. A presently stable geopolitical environment is keeping buyers of the safe-haven metal squelched. April Comex gold futures were last down $2.00 an ounce at $1,325.60. May Comex silver was last down $0.009 at $16.485 an ounce.

The main event of the trading day Thursday is the European Central Bank’s regular monetary policy meeting. No change in interest rates or monetary policy was announced at the meeting’s conclusion. No changes were expected. The wording of the ECB statement left out the reference that it would increase its quantitative easing if needed, which some are deeming as just a bit hawkish. ECB President Mario Draghi’s press conference could offer more clues on the future path and timing of ECB monetary policy.

The Bank of Japan holds its monetary policy meeting on Friday.

World stock markets were mixed to higher overnight. U.S. stock indexes are pointed toward firmer openings when the New York day session begins.

Bitcoiin 2Gen

Hollywood actor Steven Seagal has become a believer of Bitcoiin2Gen, the 65-year-old former Hollywood action star will be representing the leading cryptocurrency organization, Bitcoiin2Gen, as brand a

Stock, currency and financial markets were somewhat assuaged overnight on reports the U.S. government could implement so-called “carve-outs” for certain countries (namely Canada and Mexico) when it imposes tariffs on steel and aluminum, as early as this weekend. Now it appears the U.S. has its sights set on what many believe to be the main problem in world trade: China.

The key outside markets on Thursday morning see the U.S. dollar index near steady. The USDX bears have the firm near-term technical advantage. Nymex crude oil prices are also near steady and trading just above $61.00 a barrel. Crude oil has the bearish weight of rising U.S. crude oil stocks and record U.S. oil production levels, as reported by the U.S. Department of Energy on Wednesday.

U.S. economic data due for release Thursday includes the weekly jobless claims report, the Challenger job-cuts report, and monthly chain store sales.

Technically, April gold futures bulls have the slight overall near-term technical advantage, but need to show fresh power soon to keep it. Gold bulls' next upside near-term price breakout objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at $1,350.00. Bears' next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing prices below solid technical support at $1,300.00. First resistance is seen at $1,330.00 and then at $1,335.00. First support is seen at this week’s low of $1,318.30 and then at $1,309.00. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 5.5

May silver futures bears have the overall near-term technical advantage. Silver bulls' next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at the February high of $17.04 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at $16.00. First resistance is seen at $16.60 and then at $16.75. Next support is seen at this week’s low of $16.37 and then at the March low of $16.16. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 4.0.

THURSDAY MARCH 8, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

Mar E-mini S&Ps (ESH18 +0.36%) this morning are up +0.20% and European stocks are up +0.17% on reduced concerns over a global trade war after White House trade adviser Navarro said some countries may be exempt from tariffs provided they reach an updated Nafta deal with the U.S. Trading activity has been subdued ahead of the results of the ECB meeting and press conference from ECB President Draghi later this morning. M&A activity is also positive for stocks prices as Express Scripts surged 17% in pre-market trading after being acquired by Cigna for $54 billion in cash and stock. Asian stocks settled higher: Japan +0.54%, Hong Kong +1.52%, China +0.51%, Taiwan +0.73%, Australia +0.69%, Singapore +0.86%, South Korea +1.17%, India +0.96%. Chinese stocks moved higher after trade data showed China's Feb exports surged +44.5% y/y, the largest increase in 3-years. Japanese stocks gained on signs of stronger economic growth after Japan Q4 GDP was revised higher than expected.

The dollar index (DXY00 +0.17%) is up +0.18%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.23%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.06%.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 +0.01%) are up +1.5 ticks.

German Jan factory orders fell -3.9% m/m, weaker than expectations of -1.8% m/m and the biggest decline in a year.

The China Feb trade balance was in surplus by +$33.74 billion, wider than expectations of -$5.70 billion. Feb exports surged +44.5% y/y, stronger than expectations of +11.0% y/y and the biggest increase in 3 years. Feb imports rose +6.3% y/y, weaker than expectations of +8.0% y/y.

Japan Q4 GDP was revised upward to +1.6% (q/q annualized) from the previously reported +0.5% (q/q annualized), stronger than expectations of +1.0% (q/q annualized).

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) Feb Challenger job cuts (Jan -2.8% y/y), (2) weekly initial unemployment claims (expected +10,000 to 220,000, previous -10,000 to 210,000) and continuing claims (expected -12,000 to 1.919 million, previous +57,000 to 1.931 million), (3) USDA weekly Export Sales, (4) USDA Mar WASDE crop production.

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: Kroger (consensus $0.63), Vail Resorts (3.58), International Game Technology (0.39), Burlington Stores (2.09), Marvel Technology (0.31), Cooper Cos (2.54).

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.

Equity conferences this week: UBS Global Consumer and Retail Conference on Wed-Thu, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Refining Conference on Thu, Boenning & Scattergood Water Summit on Thu, Evercore ISI Payments and FinTech Innovators Forum on Thu, J.P. Morgan Gaming Lodging Restaurant & Leisure Management Access Forum on Thu-Fri.

Market Comments

Mar S&P 500 E-mini stock futures (ESH18 +0.36%) this morning are up +5.50 points (+0.20%). Wednesday's closes: S&P 500 -0.05%, Dow Jones -0.33%, Nasdaq +0.24%. The S&P 500 on Wednesday closed lower on Tuesday afternoon's resignation of President Trump's economic advisor Gary Cohn, a free-trade advocate, which fueled concern President Trump will go ahead with his proposed tariffs on metal imports and ramp up his aggressive trade policies. Stocks were also undercut by the U.S. Jan trade deficit of -$56.6 billion, which was the widest deficit in 9-1/4 years and had negative implications for Q1 GDP. Stocks recovered from their worst levels on reduced trade concerns after White House Press Secretary Sanders said some countries may be exempt from tariffs based on national security considerations.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 +0.01%) this morning are up +1.5 ticks. Wednesday's closes: TYM8 unch, FVM8 -0.25. Jun 10-year T-notes on Wednesday closed little changed. T-note prices found support on the the wider-than-expected U.S. Jan trade deficit of -$56.6 billion, which was negative for Q1 GDP. T-note prices were also supported by the decline in stocks, which boosted the safe-haven demand for T-notes. T-note prices were undercut by hawkish comments from Fed Governor Brainard who said stronger global growth and "very substantial" U.S. fiscal stimulus gives her confidence in the inflation outlook. T-note prices were also undercut by the Fed Beige Book that said a tight labor market was contributing to "moderate inflation" in most Fed districts.

The dollar index (DXY00 +0.17%) this morning is up +0.163 (+0.18%). EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.0028 (-0.23%) and USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.06 (+0.06%). Wednesday's closes: Dollar Index +0.019 (+0.12%), EUR/USD +0.0007 (+0.06%), USD/JPY -0.06 (-0.06%). The dollar index on Wednesday recovered from a 2-week low and closed slightly higher on the stronger-than-expected U.S. Feb ADP employment report, which was hawkish for Fed policy, and on the upbeat Fed Beige Book that stated the U.S. economy expanded at a "modest to moderate" pace.

Apr crude oil (CLJ18 -0.13%) this morning is down -14 cents (-0.23%) and Apr gasoline (RBJ18-0.47%) is -0.0105 (-0.55%). Wednesday's closes: Apr WTI crude -1.45 (-2.32%), Apr gasoline -0.0228 (-1.18%). Apr crude oil and gasoline on Wednesday closed lower on a stronger dollar, and on the +0.8% increase in U.S. crude production the week of Mar 2 to a record high of 10.369 million bpd. Crude oil prices were supported by the -605,000 bbl decline in crude supplies at Cushing to a 3-year low and by the unexpected -788,000 bbl decline in EIA gasoline inventories versus expectations for an increase of +1.5 million bbl.

Metals prices this morning are weaker with Apr gold (GCJ18 -0.18%) -1.8 (-0.14%), May silver (SIK18 -0.12%) -0.014 (-0.08%), and May copper (HGK18 -1.43%) -0.046 (-1.45%) at a 3-week low. Wednesday's closes: Apr gold -7.6 (-0.57%), May silver -0.290 (-1.73%), May copper -0.0230(-0.73%). Metals on Wednesday closed lower on a stronger dollar and on concern that the Trump administration's aggressive trade policies could lead to a trade war that reduces demand for industrial metals.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

Express Scripts (ESRX -1.56%) surged 17% in pre-market trading after Cigna agreed to acquire the company for $54 billion in cash and stock.

Microchip Technology (MCHP -1.04%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at Goldman Sachs with a price target of $108.

Thor Industries (THO +0.66%) rose 3% in after-hours trading after it reported Q2 net sales of $1.97 billion, above consensus of $1.93 billion.

Align Technology (ALGN +2.71%) was rated a new 'Overweight' at Barclays with a price target of $290.

Guidewire Software (GWRE +6.97%) lost over 2% in after-hours trading after it announced proposed public offerings of $200 million of common stock and $300 million of convertible senior notes due 2015.

Devon Energy (DVN -1.21%) gained almost 2% in after-hours trading after it said it had entered into a definitive agreement to sell the southern portion of its Barnett Shale position for $553 million.

Comtech Telecommunications (CMTL +1.25%) climbed 5% in after-hours trading after it reported Q2 net sales of $133.7 million, better than consensus of $124.8 million, and said it sees full-year adjusted Ebitda of $72 million to $76 million, higher than consensus of $70.2 million.

Caesars Entertainment (CZR +1.21%) rose 3% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 same-store adjusted Ebitdar of $505 million, higher than consensus of $502 million.

ZAGG (ZAGG +2.31%) dropped 7% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 adjusted Ebitda of $35.8 million, weaker than consensus of $36.3 million, and CEO Randy Hales will retire, effective immediately.

Collegium Pharmaceutical (COLL -4.08%) rose 5% in after-hours trading after it said prescriptions for its Xtampza ER rose to 38,044 in Q4, up +37% q/q and net Q4 revenue from Xtampza ER was $10.8 million, better than consensus of $9.8 million.

Energy Recovery (ERII -0.72%) dropped over 5% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 revenue of $22.4 million, below consensus of $28.1 million.

ShiftPixy (PIXY +66.15%) rallied almost 5% in after-hours trading on carry-over from a 66% surge in Wednesday's session when it said it was leveraging blockchain technology "as a digital ledger for all human capital transactions."

Viking Therapeutics (VKTX -0.99%) slid nearly 7% in after-hours trading after it said it was pushing the data from its VK2809 Phase 2 fatty liver and hypercholesterolemia study from the first half of the year until the second half of the year.

It's A No-Brainer; The Best Portfolios Have Gold - David Morgan

Mar 07, 2018

David Morgan The Morgan Report

In today’s economic environment, it is essential to own gold as part of a balanced portfolio, said David Morgan of The Morgan Report. Morgan noted that sentiment for precious metals is still at a lull, but recommends investors to trade in gold for silver with the gold-silver ratio above 80 right now.

Rob McEwen: We're In The Beginning Of A Bull Market

Mar 07, 2018

Rob McEwen

We are entering the early stages of a commodities cyclical bull market that could last another 10-12 years, said Rob McEwen, Chairman of McEwen Mining.“This is an oversold sector, it’s very depressed, and we’re coming into t a cyclical upturn in commodities,” McEwen told Kitco News on the sidelines of the PDAC 2018.McEwen noted that while some of the major miners have negative growth curves in terms of projected production, it will be the juniors and intermediates that will “run with the show.

U.S. Regulator Urges Registration Of Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Wednesday March 07, 2018 16:26

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said on Wednesday that many online trading platforms for cryptocurrencies should be registered with the regulator and subject to additional rules, in a further sign regulators are cracking down on the digital currency sector.

In a statement, the SEC said these “potentially unlawful” platforms may be giving investors an unearned sense of safety by labelling themselves as “exchanges.” The regulator said these platforms need to register with the SEC as a regulated national securities exchange or an alternate trading system, or ATS.

The new statement marks the latest effort by the SEC to apply federal securities laws to the rapidly growing cryptocurrency sector. SEC Chief Jay Clayton has repeatedly expressed concern about cryptocurrencies and “initial coin offerings,” or ICOs, and has urged investors to exercise caution.

“The SEC staff has concerns that many online trading platforms appear to investors as SEC-registered and regulated marketplaces when they are not,” the agency said on Wednesday.

Bitcoin, the best known cryptocurrency, fell 11.9 percent to a 1-1/2 week low of $9,450 on Wednesday on the news, before rebounding slightly to $9,760, according to prices on the Luxembourg-based Bitstamp exchange.

Bitcoiin 2Gen

Hollywood actor Steven Seagal has become a believer of Bitcoiin2Gen, the 65-year-old former Hollywood action star will be representing the leading cryptocurrency organization, Bitcoiin2Gen, as brand a

Other digital currencies also fell sharply, with Ethereum and Ripple losing 9 percent and 8 percent, according to CoinMarketCap.

Clayton has said in the past that he generally considers ICOs to be securities offerings subject to certain regulatory requirements.

On Wednesday, the SEC went further by suggesting the majority of secondary market trading in those digital tokens was also subject to its jurisdiction.

The regulator said any platform providing trading of digital assets that behave like securities and which operate like exchanges must register with the SEC as a national securities exchange, or seek an exemption such as ATS registration.

While there are dozens of platforms offering trading in cryptocurrencies, Reuters could identify only one, Liquidity M – which is the broker dealer for Templum – that had registered with the SEC as an ATS, according to SEC data.

The regulator added that some cryptocurrency platforms may not behave like exchanges but offer related services - such as digital wallets - that trigger other registration requirements, such as becoming a clearing agent or broker dealer.

Dina Ellis Rochkind, a lawyer at Paul Hastings in Washington who has worked with many ICO providers, said the SEC notice marked another effort by the regulator to protect retail investors purchasing digital assets on platforms that do not afford the protections associated with SEC-registered exchanges.

“The SEC statement foreshadows that it will be cracking down on the numerous platforms that are operating illegally and could be subject to market manipulation. This is a positive step because it will shut out bad actors and further legitimize the industry as it matures,” she added.

The SEC statement follows media reports on Tuesday that the U.S. Treasury’s financial crime division told Congress in a letter last month that some ICOs may also be subject to the Treasury’s money transmission registration, anti-money-laundering and Bank Secrecy Act requirements.

Reporting by Pete Schroeder; additional reporting by Michelle Price and Richard Leong; Editing by Susan Thomas and Dan Grebler

Great Time To Buy Industrial Metals - BMO Capital Markets

Mar 06, 2018

Colin Hamilton Commodities Research, BMO Capital Markets

Investors have placed more interest in the industrial, rather than precious metals, and Colin Hamilton, Managing Director of Commodities Research at BMO Capital Markets, said that there is good reason for this.“The industrial metals are doing really, really well. We’ve got China, three years of outperformance now. Ex-China is now kicking in. PMI’s everywhere are strong. Cyclically, this is a great time for industrial metals,” Hamilton told Kitco News on the sidelines of the BMO Global Metals and Mining Conference.

Gold jumps to one-week tops, around $1330 region

MARCH 6, 2018 8:51 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

• Renewed USD weakness helps regain positive traction.

• Risk-on mood fails to stall the bullish momentum.

Gold continued gaining positive traction through the early NA session and is currently placed at fresh multi-day tops, in the $1330 region.

After yesterday's brief pause, the precious metal built on last week's recovery move from two-month lows and was being supported by some intense US Dollar selling pressure.

Meanwhile, the latest positive geopolitical development, wherein N. Korea is ready for denuclearization talks, triggered a broad-based risk-on move also failed to dampen the precious metal's safe-haven demand.

Even a sharp uptick in the US Treasury bond yields, further supported by hawkish comments by Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, did little to stall the non-yielding yellow metal's upsurge to one-week tops.

In absence of any major market moving economic releases from the US, the USD price dynamics might continue to influence sentiment surrounding dollar-denominated commodities – like gold.

Technical levels to watch

A follow-through momentum beyond $1332-33 immediate resistance has the potential to continue boosting the metal towards $1340 level en-route its next major supply zone near $1350 area.

On the flip side, any meaningful retracement now seems to find immediate support near $1324-23 zone, below which the commodity could slide back to $1315 horizontal support.

TUESDAY MARCH 6, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

Mar E-mini S&Ps (ESH18 +0.43%) this morning are up +0.46% and European stocks are up +0.92% on signs the U.S. may not go through with plans to put tariffs on metal imports. White House economic adviser Cohn is said to have summoned executives from U.S. companies that depend on aluminum and steel to meet with President Trump this week in an attempt to halt the administration’s plans to levy the tariffs. President Trump tweeted late Monday that he is open to ending plans on tariffs if "a new and fair NAFTA agreement is signed." An easing of North Korean tensions is another positive for equity prices after South Korean President Moon Jae-In said that North Korea in open to denuclearization if the safety of Kim Jong Un's regime is guaranteed. The two Korean leaders have agreed to meet for a summit at the end of April. Asian stocks settled mostly higher: Japan +1.79%, Hong Kong +2.09, China +1.00%, Taiwan +1.33%, Australia +1.14%, Singapore +1.55%, South Korea +1.93%, India -1.27%.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.44%) is down -0.45% at a 1-week low. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is up +0.48% at a 2-week high as Italian political risks eased. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.11%.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 -0.14%) are down -5 ticks.

The UK Feb BRC sales like-for-like rose +0.6% y/y, unchanged from Jan and stronger than expectations of +0.5% y/y.

The German Feb Markit construction PMI fell -7.1 to 52.7, the slowest pace of expansion in 13 months.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) NY Fed President Dudley (voter) speaks in the U.S. Virgin Islands, (2) Jan factory orders (expected -1.3%, Dec +1.7% and +0.7% ex transportation), (3) Fed Governor Lael Brainard (voter) addresses Money Marketeers of NYU in NY, (4) Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan (non-voter) speaks at energy conference in Houston.

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: Target (consensus $1.38), H&R Block (-1.19), Urban Outfitters (0.64), Ross Stores (0.92%), Autodesk (-0.11), John Wiley (0.82).

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.

Equity conferences this week: Citi Global Property CEO Conference on Mon-Wed, Raymond James Institutional Investors Conference on Mon-Wed, Deutsche Bank Media, Telecom and Business Services Conference on Mon-Wed, Evercore ISI Industrials Conference on Tue, Stifel Executive Summit on Tue, AIFA Conference on Tue, Royal Bank of Canada Financial Institutions Conference on Tue-Wed, UBS Global Consumer and Retail Conference on Wed-Thu, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Refining Conference on Thu, Boenning & Scattergood Water Summit on Thu, Evercore ISI Payments and FinTech Innovators Forum on Thu, J.P. Morgan Gaming Lodging Restaurant & Leisure Management Access Forum on Thu-Fri.

Market Comments

Mar S&P 500 E-mini stock futures (ESH18 +0.43%) this morning are up +12.50 points (+0.46%). Monday's closes: S&P 500 +1.10%, Dow Jones +1.37%, Nasdaq +1.03%. The S&P 500 on Monday closed higher on carry-over support from a rally in European stocks after Germany's Social Democratic party voted to form a coalition government with Chancellor Merkel's Christian Democratic party. Stocks also received some support from the -0.4 point decline in the U.S. Feb ISM non-manufacturing index to 59.5, which was stronger than expectations of -0.9 to 59.0. There was also strength in energy stocks as crude oil prices rallied +2.16%. Stocks were able to shake off another day of turmoil over Trump tariffs and over the strong showing of populists in Sunday's Italian election.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 -0.14%) this morning are down -5 ticks. Monday's closes: TYM8 -5.00, FVM8 -2.75. Jun 10-year T-notes on Monday closed lower on the stronger-than-expected U.S. Feb ISM non-manufacturing index report of 59.5 (vs expectations of 59.0), and on the rally in stocks, which curbed safe-haven demand for T-notes. T-notes found support on carry-over support from a rally in German bunds to a 5-week high on increased Italian political risks after Sunday's elections produced a hung Italian Parliament and a strong showing for populists.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.44%) this morning is down -0.406 (-0.45%) at a 1-week low. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is up +0.0059 (+0.48%) at a 2-week high and USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is up +0.12 (+0.11%). Monday's closes: Dollar Index +0.145 (+0.16%), EUR/USD +0.0019 (+0.15%), USD/JPY +0.45 (+0.43%). The dollar index on Monday closed higher on the smaller-than-expected decline in the U.S. Feb ISM non-manufacturing index. The Canadian dollar slumped to a 7-3/4 month low against the U.S. dollar on concern the Trump administration's tariffs on metal imports will undercut the Canadian economy after President Trump said Canada won't be excluded from steel tariffs unless ongoing NAFTA talks result in a fair deal for the U.S.

Apr crude oil (CLJ18 +0.88%) this morning is up +41 cents (+0.66%) and Apr gasoline (RBJ18+0.28%) is +0.0022 (+0.11%). Monday's closes: Apr WTI crude +1.32 (+2.16%), Apr gasoline +0.0335 (+1.76%). Apr crude oil and gasoline on Monday closed higher on expectations that Wednesday's weekly EIA data will show that crude oil inventories at Cushing, delivery point of WTI futures, will decline -600,000 bbl to a new 3-year low. Crude oil prices were also supported by comments from IEA Executive Director Birol who said oil companies are "absolutely not" investing enough for future crude oil production.

Metals prices this morning are hgher with Apr gold +8.7 (+0.66%), May silver +0.223 (+1.36%), and May copper +0.042 (+1.33%). Monday's closes: Apr gold -3.5 (-0.26%), May silver -0.054(-0.33%), May copper +0.0035 (+0.11%). Metals on Monday settled mixed. Metals prices were undercut by a stronger dollar and by the rally in stocks, which reduced safe-haven demand for precious metals. Copper closed higher on signs of tighter supplies after LME copper inventories fell -2,725 MT to a 3-week low of 322,175 MT.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM +1.23%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at Citigroup with a price target of $49.

Bunge (BG +3.75%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Hold' at Citigroup with a price target of $89.

Target (TGT -0.01%) fell over 1% in pre-market trading after it reported Q4 adjusted EPS of $1.37, below consensus of $1.38.

Domino's Pizza (DPZ -1.56%) was rated new 'Outperform' at Baird with a price target of $260.

Analogic (ALOG -0.12%) rose nearly 6% in after-hours trading after it reported Q2 adjusted EPS of $1.27, well above consensus of 69 cents,

Nordstrom (JWN -2.15%) fell 2% in after-hour trading after its board rejected a $50 a share offer from the Nordstrom Family Group.

G1 Therapeutics (GTHX +4.98%) lost more than 1% in after-hours trading after it announced that it had commenced an underwritten public offering of 3.0 million shares of its common stock.

Quidel (QDEL -1.26%) gained 5% in after-hours trading after it received FDA clearance to market its Sofia Lyme FIA to be used with the Sofia 2 Fluorescent Immunoassay to aid in the diagnosis of Lyme disease.

Glycomimentrics (GLYC -5.90%) plunged 18% in after-hours trading when it announced it will launch its Phase 3 clinical trial to evaluate its GMI-1271 in patients with relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia.

Freshpet (FRPT +1.58%) dropped 12% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 net sales of $40.7 million, weaker than consensus of $41.1 million, and said it sees 2018 adjusted Ebitda greater than $20 million, below consensus of $22.3 million.

Nautilus (NLS +0.40%) slid nearly 7% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 revenue of $127.8 million, weaker than consensus of $128.6 million.

Syndax Pharmaceuticals (SNDX +0.71%) fell over 8% in after-hours trading after it reported a Q4 loss of -80 cents a share, wider than consensus of -77 cents.

Fate Therapeutics (FATE +3.77%) dropped 5% in after-hours trading after it reported a Q4 loss of -29 cents a share, wider than consensus of -25 cents.

Aduro Biotech (ADRO +4.65%) climbed nearly 6% in after-hours trading after it received a $3 million development milestone payment from Merck for initiating a Phase 1 clinical trial of it santi-CD27 antibody.

Tintri (TNTR +1.79%) jumped over 13% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 revenue of $28.9 million, better than consensus of $26.3 million.

It's Not Just Jim Rickards, I Prescribe To $10,000 Gold - Byron King

Mar 05, 2018

Byron King Editor, Agora Financial

The imminent collapse of modern currencies will push gold up to $10,000 an ounce, assuming central banks resort back to a gold-backed monetary system, said Byron King, editor of Jim Rickards’ Gold Speculator.“If you take the global money supply, back it with 40% gold, you need $10,000 gold to make the math work, and that’s just using a 40% backing,” King told Kitco News on the sidelines of the PDAC 2018. “And it has to do with the eventual demise of modern currencies.”Byron noted that gold stocks at current valuations are much more attractive now than they were two years ago, and said that today’s miners are backed by “better numbers” and “smarter geologists.”“We are in a new gold bull cycle, we’re in a blip of six or eight month downturn, but it will turn around. These are fundamentally good companies with great value behind them,” he said

Gold Equities Are "Insanely Priced" - Amir Adnani

Mar 05, 2018

Amir Adnani, Chairman, Goldmining Inc.

Relative to physical gold, gold stocks are severely undervalued, said Amir Adnani, Chairman of GoldMining Inc.“Gold prices are the same level they were at in 2016, but the equities are maybe 50% lower than that,” Adnani told Kitco News on the sidelines of the PDAC 2018. “From my perspective, in terms of store of value, I think the gold equities are insanely priced right now.”Adnani noted that although a much higher gold price in the $1,400 range is needed to bring enthusiasm back into the gold exploration space, he remains optimistic in GoldMining’s ability to make accretive acquisitions in today’s price range.“Clearly, right now, it remains a window where you can be opportunistic and you can make acquisitions,” he said.

Gold Is "Cheapest" Market In the Entire World - Ivan Bebek

Mar 05, 2018

Ivan Bebek Executive Chairman, Auryn Resources

A lack of appreciation of gold has led to the yellow metal being undervalued, said Ivan Bebek, Executive Chairman of Auryn Resources.“It seems like investors are looking for every reason but the gold price to buy into other commodities, such as battery metals, tech, or marijuana,” Bebek told Kitco News on the sidelines of the PDAC 2018.Bebek noted that in order for investors to rush back into gold, the yellow metal would have to break past $1,380 an ounce. “Once the retail public sees $1,400 gold, you’ll see an onslaught of investors coming back to the space, and I think from there, it’s a pretty big springboard that’s been pushed down in the last six years,” he said.Bebek said that gold is overdue for an uptick. “I think we’re about to turn into a seasonal move to the upside here, as we go into April, based on the 30-year, and I think that maybe we’ll start to feel some of that upside from those moves,” he said.

The Best Buying Opportunities In the Last 30 Years - Adrian Day

Mar 05, 2018

Adrian Day

Gold stocks are inherently volatile, and we are currently at a phase of undervaluations that presents a significant buying opportunity, said Adrian Day of Adrian Day Asset Management.“If you’re losing interest in gold, you don’t want to get out at the low point, you want to at least wait until we have a high point and get out,” ay told Kitco News on the sidelines of the PDAC 2018. “I think we’re at a low point now that is equal to some of the best buying opportunities in the last 20 to 30 years.”On cobalt, Day noted that the battery investment theme, and with it, related metals like cobalt and lithium, is a “bandwagon” that investors are jumping on without having a full understanding.“The demand for cobalt is real, and the supply issues in bad places are real, but I’m not investing in it,” Day said.

Crude Oil Prices Trim Gains on IEA Report

MARCH 5, 2018 10:25 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Crude oil prices trimmed gains on Monday, following news of an increase in U.S. output although traders remained hopeful ahead of a meeting between OPEC leaders and U.S. shale producers later in the day.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude April contract was up 42 cents or about 0.69% at $61.66 a barrel by 10:20 a.m. ET (14:20 GMT), off Friday’s two-and-a-half week lows of $60.13.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for May delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London rose 27 cents or about 0.42% to $64.64 a barrel, after hitting a two-week trough of $63.20 on Thursday.

Oil prices pulled back from session highs after the International Energy Agency on Monday upwardly revised U.S. oil output growth, saying the country would be producing a total of nearly 17 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2023.

U.S. crude oil production has already surpassed that of top exporter Saudi Arabia to 10.28 million bpd.

Rising U.S. output has weighed on oil prices in recent months amid fears it could dampen global efforts to rid the market of excess supplies.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), along with some non-OPEC members led by Russia, agreed in December to extend oil output cuts until the end of 2018.

The deal to cut oil output by 1.8 million barrels a day (bpd) was adopted last winter by OPEC, Russia and nine other global producers. The agreement was due to end in March 2018, having already been extended once.

But prices were still supported as market participants were eyeing an upcoming meeting between OPEC oil ministers and U.S. shale firms scheduled later Monday in Houston for the largest energy industry conference, CERAWeek.

Elsewhere, gasoline futures slid 0.37% to $1.903 a gallon, while natural gas futures advanced 0.74% to $2.715 per million British thermal units.

US: Services firms continue solid expansion in February – Wells Fargo

MARCH 5, 2018 12:11 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

The ISM non-manufacturing index held near its cycle high posted in January, slipping 0.4 points in February to a reading of 59.5, mentioned analysts at Wells Fargo. They explained that services firms are reporting strong demand with more activity in the pipeline.

Key Quotes:

“February’s ISM non-manufacturing composite index came in at a strong 59.5, which is in line with recent highs. The survey’s gauges of business activity, new orders and backlogs all rose during the month, suggesting continued strength going forward.”

“Among components, only the employment and import indices declined noticeably, although the decline in employment was largely a return to usual expansion after surging in January.

“The firming price trend we noted in January was still largely at play in February. The measure of prices paid by services firms rose above 60 in September 2017 for the first time in three years and has remained above 60 in 5 of the last 6 months. Comments from respondents are increasingly referring to more price pressure.”

USD/JPY pierces 106.00 and tracks US stocks turning positive

MARCH 5, 2018 12:46 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

USDJPY

USD/JPY recovers and tracks US stocks.

USD/JPY needs to regain the 107 handle.

USD/JPY is moving higher along with US stocks that are in a sharp recovery with the Dow Jones Industrial Average bouncing back from a four-session losing streak while investors shrugged off the looming threat of a global trade war and instead focused on positive economic data. Currently, USD/JPY is trading at 106.07, up 0.33% on the day, having posted a daily high at 106.13 and low at 105.35.

Trump said last week he will impose a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminium which some expected to hurt consumers in the US and potentially spark a Global trade war. Over the weekend, Trump continued to tweet on the subject, threatening to slap a tariff on European autos, should the European Union try to retaliate to the new tariffs.

Trump keeps the trade war risks alive

Over the weekend, Trump tweeted that the U.S. is “on the losing side of almost all trade deals. Our friends and enemies have taken advantage of the U.S. for many years.”

With respect to this week’s BoJ meeting, recent comments from Gov. Kuroda have shifted the focus to the BoJ’s policy normalization plans with timing centered around April 2019. We look to continued near-term outperformance in JPY.

USD/JPY levels

While through the 106 level, the next key target comes as the 107.80/90 ahead of 108.00. On the wide, 110.85 is key ahead of and 111.44/50 as being a double Fibonacci retracement that is lining up with a lower and descending 200-D SMA at 111.30. A break of the 105 handle opens up space on the charts with little support on the way down 100.70/99.00 on the charts.

USD/JPY Advances After House Speaker Ryan Urges Trump To Drop Tariffs

MARCH 5, 2018 12:55 PM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – The dollar rose against a major basket of currencies after House Speaker Paul Ryan urged President Donald Trump to drop his proposed tariffs on aluminium and steel amid worries over the prospect of a trade war.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, rose 0.04% to 89.99.

“We are extremely worried about the consequences of a trade war and are urging the White House to not advance with this plan. The new tax reform law has boosted the economy and we certainly don’t want to jeopardize those gains,” said AshLee Strong, a spokeswoman for Ryan, the top Republican in the House.

That came after President Donald said earlier on Monday that his proposal of a 25% tariff on steel imports and 10% tariff on aluminium, announced last week, could be lifted if NAFTA is renegotiated to terms more favourable to the U.S.

Trump said in tweet that tariffs on Steel and Aluminum will only be lifted if “new and fair,” North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is signed.” He also added that Mexico must “do much more on stopping drugs from pouring into the U.S.”

The yen, which has seemingly served as the favoured safe-haven destination over the past few trading sessions, slipped against the dollar as investor fears over the prospect of a trade war eased somewhat.

USD/JPY rose 0.33% to Y106.10.

EUR/USD, meanwhile, rose 0.09% to $1.2328, after the Italian election resulted in a hung parliament amid big gains for anti-establishment parties, leaving the country facing a prolonged period of political instability.

Offsetting negative sentiment in the region was easing geopolitical in Germany after Angela Merkel secured her fourth term as chancellor after Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) backed a coalition deal with conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU).

GBP/USD rose 0.33% to $1.3845 amid reports that the UK is nearing an agreement on Brexit transition deal.

USD/CAD rose 0.83% to C$1.2986.

BOJ deputy governors hearings in lower house – Nomura

MARCH 5, 2018 12:56 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Analysts at Nomura noted that the two BOJ deputy governor nominees, Mr. Wakatabe and Mr. Amamiya, had their confirmation hearings today in the lower house.

Key Quotes:

The next hearing for the deputy governor nominees will be on Wednesday in the upper house, while Governor Kuroda’s hearing in the upper house is scheduled for tomorrow.

Mr. Wakatabe maintained his strong dovish stance, while he did not provide any detailed policy options. He said there are no limits to monetary policy (Bloomberg). Mr. Wakatabe also said he does not think there is an issue with policy sustainability. On the negative side effects, he said the positive effects of current policy are much larger than the side effects, while the side effects of negative rates have not manifested much. At the same time, Mr. Wakatabe said he will suggest more stimulus “if needed,” not committing to any new easing at coming meetings. He also said he would first suggest improving current policy tools if needed. These comments suggest his stance will be more realistic and will follow the current policy framework as a deputy governor, even though in December he said easing was necessary before the sales tax hike.

In terms of an exit, Mr. Wakatabe’s stance was as expected very cautious. He said he cannot see an exit starting without reaching the 2% inflation target (Bloomberg). The definition of an exit here is unclear, but if he believes there should be no policy changes before achieving 2% inflation, the commitment is stronger than in the current BOJ framework, which allows policy tweaks He may slow the process of BOJ policy normalisation, while we should monitor whether the BOJ consensus could be affected by Mr. Wakatabe.

Mr. Amamiya’s view was more balanced, but he still said the good effects of monetary easing are larger, though there are negatives from policy (Bloomberg). Mr. Amamiya admitted that a negative rate would be a heavy burden on banks and profit conditions for banks are getting more severe. However, he said Japan’s financial system has maintained stability and he does not believe financial intermediation has been hurt. Governor Kuroda said monetary policy is not affecting banks’ financial intermediary role last Friday (Bloomberg), and Mr. Amamiya’s stance is not so different from Governor Kuroda’s current assessment of the negative side effects. Mr. Amamiya said that he will continue watching effects and side effects, but his comments do not suggest he considers policy adjustment is necessary in the near future."


MONDAY MARCH 5, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

Mar E-mini S&Ps this morning (ESH18-0.28%) are down -0.29% on concern about the implications of U.S. tariffs on the global economy. European stocks are up +0.33% after Germany's Social Democrats voted by 66% in favor to join Chancellor Merkel's Christian Democrats in a coalition government, higher than expectations of only 60% support. Gains in European markets were limited on increased political risks in Italy after Sunday's elections left the direction of the Italian government in gridlock with no clear winner. Another negative for European stocks was the larger-than-expected decline in the Eurozone Mar Sentix investor confidence to an 11-month low. Political concerns fueled losses in Italian government bonds but boosted the safe-haven demand for German 10-year bunds which rallied to a 5-week high. Asian stocks settled mostly lower: Japan -0.66%, Hong Kong -2.28%, China +0.07%, Taiwan -0.52%, Australia -0.57%, Singapore -1.17%, South Korea -1.22%, India -0.88%. Losses in Asian metals producers led markets lower there with Japan's Nikkei Stock Index falling to a 4-3/4 month low. China's Shanghai Composite closed slightly higher after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang promised more market reforms and reiterated China's 2018 growth target "at around 6.5%."

The dollar index (DXY00 +0.19%) is up +0.15. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) fell back from 2-1/2 week high and is down -0.14% on Italian political concerns. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is down -0.10%.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 +0.09%) are up +3.5 ticks.

The Eurozone Mar Sentix investor confidence fell -7.9 to an 11-month low of 24.0, weaker than expectations of -1.0 to 30.9.

The Eurozone Feb Markit composite PMI was revised lower to 57.1 from the previously reported 57.5, the slowest pace of expansion in 4-months.

Eurozone Jan retail sales fell -0.1% m/m, right on expectations.

The China Feb Caixin services PMI fell -0.5 to 54.2, weaker than expectations of -0.4 to 54.3.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) final-Feb Markit services PMI (expected unrevised at 55.9, prelim-Feb +2.6 to 55.9), (2) Feb ISM non-manufacturing PMI (expected -0.9 to 59.0, Jan +3.9 to 59.9), (3) USDA weekly grain export inspections.

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: none.

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.

Equity conferences this week: IHS Markit CERA Week Conference on Mon, MUFG Securities Tech Tour on Mon, Citi Global Property CEO Conference on Mon-Wed, Raymond James Institutional Investors Conference on Mon-Wed, Deutsche Bank Media, Telecom and Business Services Conference on Mon-Wed, Evercore ISI Industrials Conference on Tue, Stifel Executive Summit on Tue, AIFA Conference on Tue, Royal Bank of Canada Financial Institutions Conference on Tue-Wed, UBS Global Consumer and Retail Conference on Wed-Thu, Bank of America Merrill Lynch Refining Conference on Thu, Boenning & Scattergood Water Summit on Thu, Evercore ISI Payments and FinTech Innovators Forum on Thu, J.P. Morgan Gaming Lodging Restaurant & Leisure Management Access Forum on Thu-Fri.

Market Comments

Mar S&P 500 E-mini stock futures (ESH18 -0.28%) this morning are down -7.75 points (-0.29%). Friday's closes: S&P 500 -1.33%, Dow Jones -1.68%, Nasdaq -1.52%. The S&P 500 on Friday rebounded from a 2-week low and closed higher on strength in energy stocks as crude oil recovered from a 2-week low and closed higher by +0.43%. Stocks were also supported by the University of Michigan U.S. Feb consumer sentiment report of -0.2 to 99.7, a smaller decline than expectations of -0.4 to 99.5. The main bearish factor was carry-over concern about the risk of a trade war after President Trump announced sanctions on U.S. steel and aluminum imports.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 +0.09%) this morning are up +3.5 ticks. Friday's closes: TYM8 -13.50, FVM8 -7.00. Jun 10-year T-notes on Friday closed lower on concern that U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports could start a trade war that leads to reduced foreign demand for U.S. debt from China and Japan, the two largest holders of U.S. debt. T-note prices were also undercut by the slightly stronger-than-expected University of Michigan U.S. Feb consumer sentiment.

The dollar index (DXY00 +0.19%) this morning is up +0.132 (+0.15%). EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is down -0.0017 (-0.14%) and USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is down -0.11 (-0.10%). Friday's closes: Dollar Index -0.389 (-0.43%), EUR/USD +0.0050 (+0.41%), USD/JPY -0.49 (-0.46%). The dollar index on Friday closed lower on long liquidation on concern the action by the U.S. to impose tariffs on metals imports could start a trade war that undercuts economic growth. USD/JPY slumped to a 1-1/4 year low due to comments from BOJ Governor Kuroda who said the BOJ may be looking to exit its QE program next year.

Apr crude oil (CLJ18 +0.05%) this morning is up +4 cetns (+0.07%) and Apr gasoline (RBJ18-0.58%) is -0.0101 (-0.53%). Friday's closes: Apr WTI crude +0.26 (+0.43%), Apr gasoline +0.0050 (+0.26%). Apr crude oil and gasoline on Friday recovered from 2-week lows and closed higher on a weaker dollar, and on news that OPEC Feb crude production fell -80,000 bpd to a 10-month low of 32.28 million bpd. Crude oil prices were undercut by increased crude exports from Libya after Libya Feb crude exports climbed +22% m/m to a 3-1/2 year high of 1.19 million bpd, and the decline in the crack spread to a 1-week low, which reduces the incentive for refiners to purchase crude oil to refine into gasoline.

Metals prices this morning are mixed with Apr gold (GCJ18 +0.08%) +1.5 (+0.11%), May silver (SIK18 +0.36%) +0.054 (+0.33%), and May copper (HGK18 -0.32%) -0.009 (-0.27%). Friday's closes: Apr gold +18.2 (+1.39%), May silver +0.190 (+1.17%), May copper +0.0015 (+0.05%). Metals on Friday closed higher on a weaker dollar, and the decline in the S&P 500 to a 2-week low, which boosted the safe-haven demand for precious metals. Copper prices were undercut by the rise in weekly Shanghai copper inventories by +41,755 MT to a 10-1/2 month high of 260,287 MT.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

VMware (VMW -5.92%) was downgraded to 'Neutral' from 'Long-term Buy' at Hilliard Lyons.

Monster Beverage (MNST -0.11%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Hold' at Deutsche Bank with a price target of $63.

Park Hotels (PK -5.82%) was downgraded to 'Underperform' from 'Neutral' at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch with a price target of $22.

H&R Block (HRB -1.75%) was upgraded to 'Buy' from 'Neutral' at Northcoast Research.

Finisar (FNSR +1.91%) was downgraded to 'Outperform' from 'Strong Buy' at Raymond James.

Teradata (TDC +2.75%) may open higher this morning after it was upgraded to 'Market-perform' from 'Underperform' at Bernstein.

Vornado (VNO +0.14%) said after the market closed Friday that it sees a Q1 charge of 11 cents on New York City property transfer taxes.

IPG Photonics (IPGP +0.34%) will replace Scripps Networks in the S&P 500 prior to the open of trading on Wednesday, March 7.

New York Mortgage Trust (NYMT +1.99%) will replace ALLETE in the S&P SmallCap 600 prior to the open of trading on Wednesday, March 7.

ALLETE (ALE -0.03%) will replace IPG Photonics in the S&P MidCap 400 prior to the open of trading on Wednesday, March 7.

Clearside Biomedical (CLSD +11.24%) gained nearly 3% in after-hours trading after it said it will release results on Monday before the market opens from its Phase 3 clinical trial of its suprachhoroidal CLS-TA in patients with macular edema.

Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Monday

MARCH 5, 2018 5:35 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Monday, March 5:

1. No Clear Winner In Italian Election

Italy’s national elections produced no outright winner, indicating that the country is set for a hung parliament as far-right, anti-establishment and euroskeptic parties staged a strong showing.

With two-thirds of the vote counted as of Monday morning local time, results showed that no one party or bloc would have a majority of votes enabling it to govern alone, likely ushering in a protracted period of political instability and tension in the euro zone’s third-largest economy.

The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement came out as a clear winner, looking set to become the largest single party by a wide margin, underscoring the continued power of populist parties in European politics.

The center-right bloc, made up of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, and the far-right League and Brothers of Italy, is set to win most seats but is seen falling some way short of an absolute majority. But in a bitter personal defeat for the billionaire media magnate, his Forza Italia party was overtaken by its ally, the far-right, anti-immigrant League.

Italy’s benchmark FTSE MIB index was down 1.3%, after sinking nearly 2.5% to a six-month low at the start of trading.

The euro was up 0.1% at $1.2331, erasing all of its losses after sliding to a session low of $1.2155. Against the yen, it was unchanged at 130.25, recovering after hitting an intraday low of 129.36, its lowest level since late August.

2. Trump’s Tariffs To Dominate Final Day Of NAFTA Talks

Ministers from the United States, Canada and Mexico meet in Mexico City on Monday to wrap up the latest round of NAFTA talks under the shadow of U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

Trump is expected to finalize the tariffs – 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum – later in the week, posing a tough challenge for U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo.

The Mexican and Canadian ministers are likely to press Trump’s trade envoy on whether their countries will be excluded from the blanket tariffs.

The NAFTA talks are going slowly and the Mexico City round – the seventh of eight planned sets of negotiations – has so far produced little substance.

3. Global Stocks Mixed Amid Italy Uncertainty, Trade War Talk

Global equities were mixed in cautious trade, as investor nerves remained on show amid continued fretting about the potential for a full-fledged trade war and as Italy headed toward a hung parliament.

Asian shares stumbled to near three-week lows, with South Korea’s KOSPI and Japan’s Nikkei 225 faring the worst, closing down around 1.1% and 0.7% respectively.

In Europe, nearly all the continent’s major bourses traded in positive territory, after spending most of the morning lower. The pan-European Stoxx 600 index, the region’s broadest measure of share prices, rose around 0.6%, with most sectors in the green.

Meanwhile, on Wall Street, U.S. stock futures pointed to a flat open, with the three benchmark indices managing to recoup a major chunk of their overnight losses.

Dow futures were down 30 points, or around 0.1%, paring back a more-than-180-point drop seen on Sunday night. S&P 500 futures dipped 3 points, or about 0.1%, while Nasdaq 100 futures rose 6 points, or roughly 0.1%.

U.S. stocks logged hefty losses last week, with the Dow dropping around 3%.

4. OPEC, U.S. Shale Firms To Meet For Dinner

Oil ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other global oil players are set to gather in Houston as CERAWeek, the largest energy industry conference, begins on Monday.

OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo and other OPEC officials are expected to hold a dinner Monday night with U.S. shale firms on the sidelines of the conference.

Rising U.S. shale oil production has been a drag on the OPEC’s commitment to erode a prolonged global oil glut and prop up prices.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures tacked on 45 cents, or 0.7% to $61.70 per barrel, while London-traded Brent crude futures were at $64.72 per barrel, up 35 cents, or 0.6%.

5. China Kicks Off Its National People’s Congress Meeting

China’s National People’s Congress officially kicked off with over 3,000 lawmakers descending on Beijing, where the country’s rubber-stamp parliament is expected to eliminate the two-term limit for the presidency.

Continuing a campaign to reduce risks in China’s financial system, Premier Li Keqiang also set a target for economic growth for 2018 at “about 6.5%,” a slight recalibration from last year’s objective of “around 6.5% or higher if possible.”

Li also said China has cut its budget deficit target for the first time since 2012, suggesting Beijing will be more watchful of fiscal spending while not tapping the brakes so hard that it risks a sharper slowdown.

The two-week long political meeting is used by leaders to set policies for the year and detail plans to curb financial risk, air pollution, and excess industrial capacity.

India stocks lower at close of trade; Nifty 50 down 0.95%

MARCH 5, 2018 5:45 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – India stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Metals, Oil&Gas and Auto sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NSE, the Nifty 50 declined 0.95% to hit a new 1-month low, while the BSE Sensex 30 index declined 0.88%.

The best performers of the session on the Nifty 50 were Tech Mahindra Ltd (NS:TEML), which rose 3.60% or 22.00 points to trade at 630.85 at the close. Meanwhile, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NS:SUN) added 2.23% or 11.95 points to end at 548.55 and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (NS:TCS) was up 2.15% or 65.30 points to 3105.85 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Tata Motors Ltd (NS:TAMO), which fell 5.07% or 18.80 points to trade at 352.05 at the close. Hindalco Industries Ltd. (NS:HALC) declined 4.98% or 12.00 points to end at 229.60 and Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. (NS:ARBN) was down 3.91% or 24.40 points to 600.75.

The top performers on the BSE Sensex 30 were Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (BO:SUN) which rose 2.50% to 547.85, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (BO:TCS) which was up 2.21% to settle at 3104.30 and Mahindra&Mahindra Ltd. (BO:MAHM) which gained 0.81% to close at 738.95.

The worst performers were Tata Motors Ltd (BO:TAMO) which was down 5.04% to 352.15 in late trade, Tata Motors Ltd DVR (BO:TAMdv) which lost 3.92% to settle at 199.70 and Tata Steel Ltd (BO:TISC) which was down 2.95% to 655.35 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the India National Stock Exchange by 1295 to 321 and 28 ended unchanged; on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 1976 fell and 708 advanced, while 141 ended unchanged.

Shares in Tech Mahindra Ltd (NS:TEML) rose to 52-week highs; up 3.60% or 22.00 to 630.85. Shares in Tata Motors Ltd (NS:TAMO) fell to 52-week lows; falling 5.07% or 18.80 to 352.05. Shares in Tata Motors Ltd (BO:TAMO) fell to 52-week lows; down 5.04% or 18.70 to 352.15. Shares in Tata Motors Ltd DVR (BO:TAMdv) fell to 3-years lows; losing 3.92% or 8.15 to 199.70.

The India VIX, which measures the implied volatility of Nifty 50 options, was up 9.40% to 15.3950.

Gold Futures for April delivery was up 0.29% or 3.80 to $1327.20 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in April rose 0.59% or 0.36 to hit $61.61 a barrel, while the May Brent oil contract rose 0.33% or 0.21 to trade at $64.58 a barrel.

USD/INR was down 0.18% to 65.085, while EUR/INR fell 0.15% to 80.2233.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.03% at 89.92.

Sri Lanka stocks lower at close of trade; CSE All-Share down 0.06%

MARCH 5, 2018 5:45 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Sri Lanka stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Palm Oil, Investment Trust and Information Technology sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Colombo, the CSE All-Share lost 0.06%.

The best performers of the session on the CSE All-Share were Hotel Sigiriya PLC (CM:HSIG), which rose 25.00% or 14.70 points to trade at 73.50 at the close. Meanwhile, SMB Leasing PLC (CM:SEMB) added 16.67% or 0.1000 points to end at 0.7000 and Laxapana Batteries PLC (CM:LITE) was up 14.29% or 1.50 points to 12.00 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Horana Plantations PLC (CM:HOPL), which fell 15.92% or 3.90 points to trade at 20.60 at the close. Amaya Leisure PLC (CM:CONN) declined 10.36% or 5.80 points to end at 50.20 and Tal Lanka Hotels PLC (CM:TAJ) was down 8.29% or 1.50 points to 16.60.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Colombo Stock Exchange by 93 to 83 and 52 ended unchanged.

Crude oil for April delivery was up 0.62% or 0.38 to $61.63 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in May rose 0.39% or 0.25 to hit $64.62 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract rose 0.29% or 3.80 to trade at $1327.20 a troy ounce.

GBP/LKR was up 0.29% to 214.225, while USD/LKR fell 0.11% to 154.960.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.02% at 89.93.

EUR/JPY: Euro trading lower amid European political uncertainties.

MARCH 5, 2018 4:01 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

EURJPY

Italian election resulting in a political gridlock.

EUR/JPY trading below its 200- period simple moving average

The EUR/JPY is currently trading at 129.70 down 0.5%.

Over the weekend, the Italian parliamentary elections saw the eurosceptic, anti-establishment Five Star Movement and Northern League getting the most percentage votes and this could result in a coalition which is essentially formed by ‘Populist eurosceptics’ according to BBC Europe editor Katya Adler. It may take weeks of negotiations to form a government and a coalition resulting for now in a political deadlock.

On the macroeconomic front, the Eurozone key event of the week is the ECB meeting scheduled on Thursday.

On Monday the German services PMI is expected at 55.3 in February.

The Eurozone composite PMI which tracks both manufacturing and services is expected to remain unchanged at 57.5 in February.

The key event ifor Japan is on Thursday and Friday with the Bank of Japan meeting The market participants are awaiting any hints on quantitative easing after Governor Kuroda announced last week he might end stimulus in fiscal year 2019.

Technically on the daily chart the EUR/JPY has broken below its 200-simple moving average last week and it is considered a bearish signal. The next major support is seen at 126.90 which is the 38.2% Fibonacci retracement from the June 2017-February 2018 bull run. Intermediary support is seen at the 128.00 figure, this level being also a previous cyclical low. To the upside resistance is found at the 131.00 figure which is a confluence zone with the 200-simple moving average and the 23.6% Fibonacci retracement from the June 2017-February 2018 bull run. Further up resistance is seen at 133.50 with the 100-simple moving average and historical supply/demand zone.

GBP/USD room for a near term rebound – Commerzbank

MARCH 5, 2018 4:30 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

GBPUSD

Cable’s recent price action allows for a potential near term bounce, suggested Karen Jones, Head of FICC Technical Analysis at Commerzbank.

Key Quotes

“GBP/USD’s break lower last week through several key supports lacked follow through and was therefore unconvincing and we are allowing for a near term rebound. Resistance is provided by the 20-day ma at 1.3914 and the resistance line at 1.4044. While capped here, the outlook stays negative”.

“Last week the market eroded a band of support at circa 1.3782/1.3763 (55 day ma, the 9thFebruary low and a 4 month uptrend) but did not CLOSE below the 1.3763 level which is why we suspect that it will bounce. Below here lies the 1.3658 September peak and the 1.3479 2016-2018 uptrend. A close below the latter level is needed to confirm the end of the medium term up move (favoured)”.

“Above the 1.4044 resistance line there is scope for a retest of the 1.4345 recent high and the 1.4313 200 week ma”.

UK services PMI jumps to 54.5 in February

MARCH 5, 2018 4:36 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Growth in the UK service sector pickedup pace and signaled the strongest rate of service sector output growth for four months, the latest report from Markit Economics showed this Monday.

In fact, the seasonally adjusted IHS Markit/CIPS UK Services PMI® Business Activity Index registered 54.5 in February, up from 53.0 in January and was also better-than a reading of 53.3 anticipated.

Key Points:

• Business activity rises at fastest pace for four months

• Strongest upturn in new work since May 2017

• Input cost inflation lowest for a year-and-a-half

Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey commented: “The service sector overtook manufacturing as the fastest growing part of the economy for only the second time since the referendum in February, thanks to the combination of the largest rise in services activity for four months and waning growth of factory output.”

WTI rejected near $ 62 mark post-IEA forecasts

MARCH 5, 2018 4:41 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Gains capped by IEA US oil output forecasts upgrade.

Rising US rigs count and cautious trading ahead of OPEC meeting weigh.

WTI (oil futures on NYMEX) stalled its upbeat momentum and reversed a part of the intraday gains, as the sentiment was dented following the release of the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts.

In its latest forecasts, the IEA predicted the US shale oil output to surge over the next five years while upgrading the estimates for the US crude oil output growth through 2023. Moreover, intensifying concerns over rising US rigs count numbers also helped keep a check on the prices. The number of oil rigs drilling for new production in the US rose to 800 for the first time since April 2015 in early March, according to Reuters.

The black gold rallied more than 1% to test the $ 62 threshold earlier today, after the bulls cheered the news of the Libyan biggest oil field, Sharara, shutdown news. Also, the bullish data from the US CFTC collaborated to the upside in the commodity. Friday’s US CFTC COT report showed that the Speculators raised their bullish bets on US crude futures and options in the week to Feb. 27 for the second consecutive week.

Markets now look forward to the OPEC meeting with other global oil players in Houston, as the CERAWeek, the largest energy industry conference, gets underway. Meanwhile, the US crude supplies reports due on the cards later this week will also offer fresh trading impetus.

Oil: Prices guided by technical – BBH

MARCH 5, 2018 4:56 AM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Analysts at BBH point out that oil prices fell almost 3.3% last week and managed to avoid a four-day losing streak by a late recovery before the weekend.

Key Quotes

“Light sweet crude oil for April delivery approached $60 a barrel, a two-week low, before rebounding, perhaps helped by the heavier dollar. A break would target the February lows near $58. A larger than expected oil inventory build in the US appeared to have gotten the ball rolling. US crude inventories have risen in four of the past five weeks for a total of almost 12 mln barrels. Also, OPEC output has been lower than usual due to Venezuela and UAE.”

Indonesia stocks lower at close of trade; IDX Composite Index down 0.48%

MARCH 5, 2018 5:15 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Indonesia stocks were lower after the close on Monday, as losses in the Basic Industry, Financials and Agriculture sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Jakarta, the IDX Composite Index lost 0.48%.

The best performers of the session on the IDX Composite Index were Hotel Mandarine Regency Tbk PT (JK:HOME), which rose 34.69% or 34 points to trade at 132 at the close. Meanwhile, Dian Swastatika Sentosa Tbk (JK:DSSA) added 19.87% or 2225.00 points to end at 13425.00 andBukit Uluwatu Villa Tbk (JK:BUVA) was up 19.39% or 95 points to 585 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Bank Mitraniaga Tbk (JK:NAGA), which fell 18.97% or 66 points to trade at 282 at the close. Berlina Tbk (JK:BRNA) declined 16.11% or 240 points to end at 1250 and Metro Realty Tbk (JK:MTSM) was down 13.53% or 36 points to 230.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Jakarta Stock Exchange by 206 to 156 and 118 ended unchanged.

Shares in Bukit Uluwatu Villa Tbk (JK:BUVA) rose to 52-week highs; rising 19.39% or 95 to 585. Shares in Metro Realty Tbk (JK:MTSM) fell to 52-week lows; losing 13.53% or 36 to 230.

Crude oil for April delivery was up 0.62% or 0.38 to $61.63 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in May rose 0.47% or 0.30 to hit $64.67 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract rose 0.23% or 3.00 to trade at $1326.40 a troy ounce.

USD/IDR was up 0.09% to 13756.0, while AUD/IDR fell 0.43% to 10646.50.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.01% at 89.94.

Dollar Holds Steady as Markets Digest U.S. Tariff Threat

MARCH 5, 2018 5:19 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – The U.S. dollar held steady against other major currencies on Monday, as traders digested last week’s news of possible U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

The greenback initially weakened after U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans on Thursday to impose tariffs of 25% on imported steel and 10% on aluminum, in a move to “protect U.S. industry”.

The news sparked concerns over potential trade wars, which would have a negative impact on the U.S. economy.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was little changed at 89.93 by 05:15 a.m. ET (09:15 GMT).

The euro was little changed, with EUR/USD at 1.2321, while GBP/USD edged up 0.11% to 1.3815.

Markets were also jittery after Italian elections on Sunday ended in a hung parliament with none of the country’s three main groups able to rule alone.

On a more positive note, Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) voted on Sunday for a coalition deal with Chancelor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, ending two months of political uncertainty. The new government could be in place in less than two weeks.

In the UK, data earlier showed that service sector activity accelerated last month.

Elsewhere, the yen and the Swiss franc were stronger, with USD/JPY down 0.18% at 105.56 and with USD/CHF slipping 0.14% to trade at 0.9361.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars were lower, with AUD/USD down 0.18% at 0.778 and with NZD/USD falling 0.14% to 0.7219.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD eased up 0.09% to trade at 1.2892.

NZD/USd holds in key support territory, 0.72 to give out?

MARCH 4, 2018 6:41 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

NZDUSD

NZD/USD bears looking to clean out stops at 0.7200?

NZD/USD awaiting key data and trade war noise as a risk.

NZD/USD is currently trading at 0.7239, down from a high of .0725 and a having made a low of 0.7229.

The bird was unable to get over the line on Friday despite a weaker greenback while, instead, the market was still trying to grasp the currency implications of this latest global trade spat, as according to analysts at ANZ.

Trade wars? – ANZ

Where next?

"The USD is going to remain in the box seat in terms of drivers, but it is hard to think an escalation of trade disputes is going to be positive for a trade-dependent economy like NZ in the long run," the analysts argued. Meanwhile, there are very light domestic data risks this week ahead of the nonfarm payrolls that could spark some life back into the greenback on a positive outcome for those betting on a faster pace of rate hikes to come from the Fed this year.

NZD/USD levels

Technically, the chart is leaning bearish with the RSI biased down and pair back below the 55-Day SMA. However, the consolidation has taken the trend line resistance to the downside out and unless the bears can break 0.7200, the bird could be sideways from here with 0.7180 being a key support to the downside.

EUR/GBP near 0.8950 on Merkal coalition, Italian election

MARCH 4, 2018 6:16 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

EURGBP

Italian elections set for a hung parliament, 5-Star Movement takes a slight lead.

Angela Merkel's successful coalition formation buoying Euro to start the week.

The EUR/GBP sprung upwards to start the trading week but failed to capture any new territory, still trading underneath Friday's high and currently testing 0.8940.

The Euro gained some bullish favor over the weekend following Angela Merkel's successful formation of a coalition government between her own CDU/CSU and the SPD party. Pro-coalition votes took over 66%, with 78.3% of total SPD members voting on the initiative. Merkel's new cabinet will be formed next week.

Meanwhile, Italian elections promise to stir things up as markets digest the results, with Silvio Berlusconi's far-right coalition and the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement set to battle it out, with neither side capturing the 40% requirement for a majority government in Italy.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May outlined her Brexit strategy in a speech on Friday, but many questions remain as the leader of the UK's ruling conservative party danced around the inevitability of a firm separation between the UK and the European Union (EU) markets.

EUR/GBP Technicals

The Euro has managed to push up high enough against the Pound to hit a three-month high, and Daily charts see a heavy consolidation range barring the way to the 0.9000 handle. Volatility is the hallmark of the pair, with H4 charts highlighting the pair's twitchy nature. Intraday levels can be found at 0.8910 and 0.8870 for support, with resistance forming a zone from 0.8965 to 0.9010.

Gold / Silver / Copper Prices – Weekly Outlook: March 5 – 9

MARCH 4, 2018 5:40 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Gold prices rose on Friday, rebounding from the lowest levels of the year as the prospect of a global trade war pressured the dollar lower and boosted safe haven demand for the precious metal.

Gold futures for April delivery settled up 1.42% at $1,323.70 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, prices were still down 0.52%, their second consecutive weekly decline.

The dollar weakened broadly after President Donald Trump on Thursday announced plans to impose heavy tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, raising fears over a trade war with major trade partners such as China, the European Union and Canada.

A weaker dollar makes dollar denominated gold more attractive for overseas buyers. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was down 0.3% to 89.95 in late trade on Friday.

Gold prices had hit a low of $1,303.60 on Thursday, the weakest level since December 29 amid expectations for faster hikes in U.S. interest rates this year.

Expectations for higher interest rates are typically bearish for gold as the precious metal struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets such as Treasury’s when borrowing costs rise.

Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver settled up 1.53% at $16.52 a troy ounce, trimming the week’s losses to 0.51%.

Platinum settled at $967.40, up 1% for the day, but still ended the week with losses of 3.08% in what was a second consecutive weekly decline.

Among base metals, copper for May delivery was up 0.35% at $3.134 in late trade. Prices have fallen since hitting four-year highs in December amid concerns over the higher interest rates and the prospect of an economic slowdown in China, the world’s largest consumer of industrial metals.

In the coming week, investors will be focusing their attention on the U.S. employment report for February, particularly after stronger than expected wage growth figures in the last jobs report fed into major market turbulence.

Traders will also be watching developments on the proposed trade tariffs and central bank meetings in the euro zone and Japan.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, March 5

China is to publish its Caixin services index.

The UK is to publish its services PMI.

The Institute of Supply Management is to publish its non-manufacturing PMI.

Later in the day, Federal Reserve Governor Randal Quarles is to speak at an event in Washington.

Tuesday, March 6

Australia is to release data on retail sales and the current account.

The Reserve Bank of Australia is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a rate statement which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision.

Wednesday, March 7

Australia is to release figures on fourth quarter growth.

The UK is to publish an industry survey on house price inflation.

The U.S. is to release the ADP nonfarm payrolls report for February.

Canada and the U.S. are to publish trade data.

The Bank of Canada is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a rate statement.

Thursday, March 8

Both China and Australia are to release trade data.

The ECB is to announce its latest monetary policy decision. The announcement is to be followed by a press conference with President Mario Draghi.

Canada is to publish data on building permits and new house price inflation.

The U.S. is to produce the weekly report on jobless claims.

Friday, March 9

China is to release data on consumer and producer price inflation.

The BoJ is to announce its benchmark interest rate and publish a rate statement which outlines economic conditions and the factors affecting the monetary policy decision. The announcement is to be followed by a press conference.

The UK is to release data on manufacturing production and trade.

Canada is to publish its latest employment report.

The U.S. is to round up the week with the non-farm payrolls report for February.

Event risks ahead, looking busy for the Aussie this week – Westpac

MARCH 4, 2018 6:08 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

Analysts at Westpac explained that Australia’s busy data week starts with Q4 company profits and inventories (also an estimate of aggregate wages etc), which will help shape forecasts of GDP (Wed).

Key Quotes:

"Westpac looks for a commodity price-driven 4% q/q rise in profits and a 1% gain in inventories. Also due at 11:30am Syd/Mel is Jan building approvals. The series is always prone to volatility though December’s -20% m/m slide was large even by its standards. We look for +1% in Jan.

In Asia, there will be at least passing interest in the Feb China services sentiment survey, which has been running around 54, well above the manufacturing purchasing managers indexes.

The US data focus should be the Feb non-manufacturing sentiment survey which is expected to remain in the high 50s, a very strong reading though probably not matching the 14 year highs seen in the Feb manufacturing equivalent."

EUR/USD bulls looking for a close above 1.2350

MARCH 4, 2018 5:46 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

EURUSD

EUR/USD spikes despite hung parliament in Italy.

EUR/USD headed test of closes above 1.2350?

EUR/USD has spike don the German coalition news following a better bid Friday closing session in European and US markets where the dollar was beaten up and with there being a more neutral outlook given that the focus has switched from rates to trade.

SPD members approved a coalition with Merkel's CDU/CSU over the weekend with a vote of 66.02%, (78.3% of SPD members participated in the vote). Meanwhile, eyes will stay on the hung parliament in Italy and what course politics will take from here with a few options outlined here:

Political gridlock in Italy it is; election polls point to a hung parliament

The next domestic risks come in the form of EZ Feb services PMIs and the ECB later in the week.

EUR/USD levels

Valeria Bednarik, chief analyst at FXStreet explained that in the 4 hours chart, the scale is bullish as the pair recovered well above its 20 SMA.

"Technical indicators maintain their bullish slopes within positive territory, while the pair ended the day near its daily high. The highs in the 1.2350 region come as the immediate resistance, with steady gains above it backing the case for an extension beyond the 1.2400 figure," Valeria added.

EUR/JPY: Merkel’s coalition gives Euro a boost, Italian election now in focus

MARCH 4, 2018 5:41 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

EURJPY

The EUR/JPY bounces on Merkel's successful coalition bid.

Italian election results due today to set market's tone moving forward.

Bank of Japan gives a time horizon for ending easing, with strings attached.

The EUR/JPY started the new week off with a gap lower, but that action quickly reversed, and the pair is now trading just beneath the 130.50 level.

The Euro has declined against the Yen for four straight weeks, and the outcome of Italian elections today will bring a substantial impact to market action, though its effect may take time to seep into broader markets. Pollsters in Italy are calling for the former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and his far-right party allies to come out ahead, albeit without a majority, while the 5-Star Movement, an anti-establishment party, looks to be a significant contender in the polls.

Giving the Euro a boost ahead of the Italian vote outcome is Angela Merkel's successful bid to form a coalition government with Merkel's CDU/CSU and the smaller SPD. Nearly 80% of registered SPD members voted on the coalition, with 66.02% voting in favour.

Despite the positive vibes coming from elections and coalitions, the Euro still has a deep hole to dig itself out of against the Yen, with last week's statements by Bank of Japan (BOJ) Governor Kuroda throwing an unexpected bullish twist to his words, stating that the BOJ will almost certainly be looking to begin tightening up their easy monetary policy in the fiscal year 2019, with the precise caveat that only if inflation reaches the central bank's targets. Despite the inflation requirement, market participants bid the Yen and sent the EUR/JPY to a six-month low.

EUR/JPY Technicals

The pair found a bounce to cap off Friday's trading and the push at the market open looks set to continue that run, with the week's opening gap closed neatly within minutes of the open. The pair is still trading just south of the 200-day SMA, but pattern traders will note the spinning top and hammer candlesticks, both bullish and coming off the recent low of 129.56. H4 charts show the EUR/JPY still in a heavy state of decline, and the price will have to break the latest lower lows/lower highs step-downs before a fruitful bid higher can take place. Intraday levels see support at 129.90 and 129.60, with resistance sitting at 130.80 and 131.10.

Political gridlock in Italy it is; election polls point to hung parliament

MARCH 4, 2018 5:21 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

It looks like political gridlock in Italy as none of the coalitions or parties have been able to reach the 40 percent of votes needed to gain a majority in Rome.

Italis 5 Star will be the largest single party according to the exit polls and looks like it gets the biggest share of votes, around 30% for the lower house and similar in the upper house, between 33%-36%.

Possible scenarios to choose from here?

Experts have explained that it would be unlikely to see a coalition involving PD, Luigi Di Maio’s Five Star Movement and right-wing Liberi e Uguali. An easier option might be to have the parties creating a large government coalition. If the elected leaders weren’t able to find an agreement, Italian President Sergio Mattarella would then have to adopt another solution. However, party leaders had hinted at the potential post-election coalition that could be formed should nobody be able to gain a majority.

Meanwhile, the euro is catching a bid as traders prefer to acknowledge the positive news from German politics with SPD members who had approved a coalition with Merkel's CDU/CSU over the weekend with a vote of 66.02%, (78.3% of SPD members participated in the vote).

United Arab Emirates stocks higher at close of trade; DFM General up 0.10%

MARCH 4, 2018 6:15 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – United Arab Emirates stocks were higher after the close on Sunday, as gains in the Consumer Staples, Finance&Investment and Banking sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Dubai, the DFM General gained 0.10%, while the ADX General index added 0.21%.

The best performers of the session on the DFM General were Emaar Malls (DU:EMAA), which rose 1.88% or 0.040 points to trade at 2.170 at the close. Meanwhile, DXB Entertainments (P.J.S.C.) (DU:DXBE) added 1.44% or 0.008 points to end at 0.563 and Gulf Navigation Holding PJSC (DU:GNAV) was up 0.93% or 0.010 points to 1.090 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Takaful Emarat PSC (DU:TKFE), which fell 7.04% or 0.140 points to trade at 1.850 at the close. SHUAA Capital PSC (DU:SHUA) declined 4.46% or 0.050 points to end at 1.070 and Amanat Holdings PJSC (DU:AMANT) was down 2.74% or 0.040 points to 1.420.

The top performers on the ADX General were Gulf Pharm Ind (AD:GPHI) which rose 8.64% to 2.390, Green Crs Ins (AD:GCIC) which was up 7.95% to settle at 0.950 and Sharjah Cement AD(AD:SCID) which gained 5.61% to close at 1.130.

The worst performers were National Bank of Fujairah PJSC (AD:NBF) which was down 8.79% to 3.01 in late trade, Eshraq Properties Co PJSC (AD:ESHR) which lost 2.70% to settle at 0.7200 andMethaq (AD:METH) which was down 2.38% to 0.820 at the close.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Dubai Stock Exchange by 17 to 17 and 6 ended unchanged; on the Abu Dhabi, 14 rose and 12 declined, while 3 ended unchanged.

Shares in Green Crs Ins (AD:GCIC) rose to 52-week highs; rising 7.95% or 0.070 to 0.950.

Crude oil for April delivery was up 0.79% or 0.48 to $61.47 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in May rose 1.13% or 0.72 to hit $64.55 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract rose 1.42% or 18.50 to trade at $1323.70 a troy ounce.

USD/AED was unchanged 0.00% to 3.6730, while EUR/AED rose 0.48% to 4.5270.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.30% at 89.95.

Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies Slip Lower

MARCH 4, 2018 6:18 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – The price of digital currency bitcoin turned lower on Sunday a day after rising above the $11,500 level for the first time in two weeks, while the other major cryptocurrencies were also lower.

Bitcoin was trading at $11,130 on the Bitfinex exchange, down around 1.85% for the day. Prices hit a high of $11,526 on Saturday, the most since February 20.

Other major cryptocurrencies also traded lower, with Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, losing around 2.3% to trade at $843.80.

The third largest cryptocurrency Ripple was down about 1.5% to $0.89.

Bitcoin hit highs of around $20,000 in mid-December before crashing back below $6,000 earlier this year, although it has since recovered to around $11,000.

On Friday, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney called for a regulatory crackdown on cryptocurrencies and warned that they are failing as a medium of exchange.

Carney said the time had come “to regulate elements of the crypto-asset ecosystem to combat illicit activities, promote market integrity, and protect the safety and soundness of the financial system.”

His warning comes amid growing efforts by governments around the world to clamp down on cryptocurrency trading.

The European Union warned late last month that it is prepared to regulate cryptocurrencies if risks from the sector increase, while China has shuttered bitcoin exchanges and clamped down on initial coin offerings.


Crude Oil Prices – Weekly Outlook: March 5 – 9

MARCH 4, 2018 6:53 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Oil prices finished higher on Friday, but still suffered their first losing week in three as investors weighed indications of rising U.S. production against OPEC’s ongoing efforts to rid the market of excess supplies.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for April delivery tacked on 26 cents, or around 0.4%, to close at $61.25 a barrel. The U.S. benchmark spent most of the session lower, falling to an intraday low of $60.13, a level not seen since Feb. 15.

Meanwhile, May Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., advanced 54 cents, or roughly 0.8%, to settle at $64.37 a barrel. It hit a two-week low of $63.19 on Thursday.

Oil saw weakness in early action, attributed in part to President Donald Trump’s announcement Thursday that he would impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, stoking fears of a global trade war.

But a weak dollar and a mild recovery in U.S. equities on Wall Street saw the commodity move into positive territory later in the session.

Despite Friday’s bounce, WTI crude declined 3.6% for the week, while Brent lost 4%, as investors continued to fret over soaring U.S. output levels.

The number of oil drilling rigs rose by one to 800 last week, their highest in nearly three years,General Electric (NYSE:GE)’s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. That marked a sixth straight week of increases, implying that further gains in domestic production are ahead.

That came after data on Wednesday showed U.S. oil production, driven by shale extraction, rose to an all-time high of 10.28 million barrels per day (bpd), staying above Saudi Arabia’s output levels and within reach of Russia, the world’s biggest crude producer.

Analysts and traders have recently warned that booming U.S. shale oil production could potentially derail OPEC’s effort to end a supply glut.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, along with some non-OPEC members led by Russia, have been restraining production by 1.8 million bpd to curb the market of excess supply. The arrangement, which was adopted last winter, expires at the end of 2018.

In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer and how fast output levels will continue to rise.

The annual CERAWeek energy conference in Houston, Texas commencing on Monday will also grab some attention. The week-long event, organized by IHS Markit, will see energy ministers from around the world meet with Big Oil executives.

A dinner between OPEC officials and U.S. shale executives on Monday night in Houston will be in focus.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday

The 37th annual CERAWeek conference kicks off in Houston, Texas.

Tuesday

The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, is to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies.

Wednesday

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is to release weekly data on oil and gasoline stockpiles.

Thursday

The U.S. government will publish a weekly report on natural gas supplies in storage.

Friday

Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.

The 37th annual CERAWeek conference comes to a close.

Saudi Arabia stocks lower at close of trade; Tadawul All Share down 0.57%

MARCH 4, 2018 8:15 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Saudi Arabia stocks were lower after the close on Sunday, as losses in the Multi Investment, Insurance and Real Estate Development sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Saudi Arabia, the Tadawul All Share fell 0.57%.

The best performers of the session on the Tadawul All Share were Saudi Fisheries Co. (SE:6050), which rose 9.98% or 2.88 points to trade at 31.75 at the close. Meanwhile, Saudi Company for Hardware (SE:4008) added 6.30% or 7.05 points to end at 119.00 and Middle East Specialized Cables Co (SE:2370) was up 4.12% or 0.32 points to 8.08 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Musharaka REIT (SE:4335), which fell 5.07% or 0.49 points to trade at 9.18 at the close. Saudi Airlines Catering Company (SE:6004) declined 4.71% or 3.99 points to end at 80.70 and Saudi Ceramic Co. (SE:2040) was down 4.54% or 1.13 points to 23.78.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Saudi Arabia Stock Exchange by 117 to 65 and 4 ended unchanged.

Shares in Musharaka REIT (SE:4335) fell to all time lows; losing 5.07% or 0.49 to 9.18.

Crude oil for April delivery was up 0.79% or 0.48 to $61.47 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in May rose 1.13% or 0.72 to hit $64.55 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract rose 1.42% or 18.50 to trade at $1323.70 a troy ounce.

EUR/SAR was up 0.42% to 4.6199, while USD/SAR fell 0.01% to 3.7501.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.30% at 89.95.

Israel stocks lower at close of trade; TA 35 down 0.95%

MARCH 4, 2018 10:00 AM EST

SOURCE: INVESTING.COM

Investing.com – Israel stocks were lower after the close on Sunday, as losses in the Communication, Biomed and Technology sectors led shares lower.

At the close in Tel Aviv, the TA 35 declined 0.95%.

The best performers of the session on the TA 35 were Azrieli Group Ltd (TA:AZRG), which rose 1.75% or 300 points to trade at 17470 at the close. Meanwhile, Mizrahi Tefahot (TA:MZTF) added 1.68% or 108 points to end at 6550 and Harel (TA:HARL) was up 1.19% or 33 points to 2813 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Ormat Technologies (TA:ORA), which fell 11.35% or 2510 points to trade at 19610 at the close. OPKO Health Inc (TA:OPK) declined 5.31% or 66 points to end at 1177 and Delek Group (TA:DLEKG) was down 3.09% or 1850 points to 58050.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by 255 to 115 and 33 ended unchanged.

Shares in Ormat Technologies (TA:ORA) fell to 52-week lows; losing 11.35% or 2510 to 19610. Shares in OPKO Health Inc (TA:OPK) fell to all time lows; losing 5.31% or 66 to 1177.

Crude oil for April delivery was up 0.79% or 0.48 to $61.47 a barrel. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Brent oil for delivery in May rose 1.13% or 0.72 to hit $64.55 a barrel, while the April Gold Futures contract rose 1.42% or 18.50 to trade at $1323.70 a troy ounce.

USD/ILS was down 0.79% to 3.4402, while EUR/ILS fell 0.32% to 4.2396.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.30% at 89.95.

European Politics in focus start of week: Italian election / German coalition risks

MARCH 4, 2018 4:30 PM EST

SOURCE: FXSTREET

A positive for the euro at the start of this week comes as SPD members approved a coalition with Merkel's CDU/CSU over the weekend with a vote of 66.02%, (78.3% of SPD members participated in the vote).

A cabinet will be put together this week

Markets await the outcome of the Italian elections

Meanwhile, traders will be looking out for the results of today's elections in Italy in an election will a number of potential outcomes. The markets fear political gridlock today after a campaign marked by anger over the listless economy, high unemployment and immigration. Voting was underway in Italy when polling stations opened at 7 am, local time, where pollsters were predicting that former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and his far-right allies would emerge as the largest bloc in parliament but would fall short of a majority.

The biggest arty looks to be like the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement looks set to be the biggest single part, attracting votes where people feel discontent over entrenched corruption and growing poverty. The ruling centre-left Democratic Party (PD) was looking like as third place slot. Polls set to close at 2200 GMT today.

Hang On, Gold Interest is About To Renew - Sandstorm CEO

Mar 02, 2018

Nolan Watson

The prospect of higher economic stress, followed by more equity volatility may prompt investors to reconsider buying back into gold, said Nolan Watson, CEO of Sandstorm Gold.“About a month ago, when the stock market went crazy and the VIX blew up…and it sort of hinted that the global economic system, with record debt levels, is starting to show signs of not cracks but stress,” Watson told Kitco News on the sidelines of the BMO Global Metals and Mining Conference. “And when you have that much money moving around, things start to get a bit shaky, and that’s when people are going to look to gold.”On bitcoin, Watson noted that the cryptocurrency has only hurt gold on the retail investor side, since large institutional investors have yet to allocate large quantities into blockchain funds. “Retail investors that are looking for very quick returns are getting them faster in cryptos and so they’re moving over there, and gold’s less sexy and less exciting right now. I think that we’re going to see a reversal of that once the shine comes off cryptos,” he said.

BMO Maintains $1,280 Price Target For Gold; Interest Diverted To Industrial Metals

Mar 02, 2018

Andrew Kaip Managing Director, Precious Metals, BMO Capital Markets

A lot of investor interest in the mining space is currently diverted into the industrial metals, while interest in the precious metals space is very tepid, said Andrew Kaip, Managing Director of Precious Metals at BMO Capital Markets.This interest in industrial metals comes as President Trump has recently issued an import tariff on steel and aluminum. A risk-on appetite, fueled by rebounding global growth, does not provide incentives for the average retail investor to own gold as a safe haven asset, said Kaip“[Gold] is viewed as a safe haven, but when you have global growth in the manner that we are seeing right now, and you have a very healthy economy in the United States, full employment, Europe is rebounding, you really have to think that some of the reasons for owning gold just aren’t there with the average person,” Kaip told Kitco News on the sidelines of the BMO Global Metals & Mining Conference. “We are seeing some early signs of interest in the precious metals space, but it’s very tepid right now,” Kaip said

"Focus Was Never On Building An Empire" - Agnico Eagle CEO

Mar 02, 2018

Sean Boyd CEO, Agnico Eagle

Agnico Eagle’s company mission has never been to compete with the largest major miners in the world in terms of size, but rather, to drive per share value, said Sean Boyd, the miner’s CEO. Agnico Eagle posted record production and reserve numbers in 2017, and aims to continue growing production by 30% from 2018 to 2020, leveraging their Nunavut platform for growth.“We’ve accelerated the timeline on the big project, which was Meliadine. So, we’ll get to 2 million ounces in 2020, and these assets actually have the ability to take us beyond 2 million ounces,” Boyd told Kitco News on the sidelines of the BMO Global Metals & Mining Conference.With news that Apple has intended to buy cobalt directly from suppliers, this industry metal has reached headlines in the mining space.“We have a large land package in Cobalt, Ontario, that’s where we got started in 1957, mining silver in Cobalt,” Boyd noted. “We’re certainly open to people who have that as their business to maybe selling [the asset at Cobalt].”

GRAINS SPOTLIGHT

Soybeans - Is There More to The Upside?

More soybeans are going to be planted in the U.S. for 2018. I am not too sure more soybeans will be planted than corn acres, but there definitely will be more soybeans. The price for soybeans is better. The crop insurance price was set on March 1, 2018 averaging the February prices for November soybeans and December corn. Soybeans are at $10.16/bushel, which is 3 cents less than a year ago and corn is $3.96/bushel, the same as 2016. I feel one major reason there will be more soybeans isnt the price, or for some farmers that had better yields for soybeans over the past couple of years, but cost of planting.

Grain Market Update

May futures finished yesterdays session up 5 cents, trading in a range of 7 on the day. Funds were estimated buyers of 24,000 contracts. Export sales yesterday morning came in at 1,752,996 metric tons, this was well above the expected range from 1,000,000-1,500,000 metric tons. The bulls will want to see this become a longer-term trend to keep this market grinding higher. The corn market was also helped by spill over from the strength in soybeans and wheat. We have a USDA report out next week on the 8th, we will start compiling estimates for that in the first half of next week. At the end of the month is the prospective plantings report.

USDCAD jittery amidst trade headlines. Market back near highs on massive EURCAD buying

It was a volatile day yesterday for USDCAD. At first we saw upward momentum fail just shy of the key 1.2870 resistance level despite stronger than expected US ISM figures. Combine that with some less hawkish comments from the Feds Powell around the 10am hour and a rebound in EURUSD and traders had their reason to sell USDCAD back down to support in the 1.2820s. Support held, and then Trump announced new steel tariffs (as expected) around mid-day.

Cocoa Prices Hit 13 Month Highs

Cocoa futures in the May contract are trading higher for the 2nd consecutive session after settling last Friday at 2194 while currently trading at 2275 up about 80 points for the trading week hitting a 13 month high continuing its strong bullish trend. I have been recommending a bullish position over the last couple of months from around the 1990 level and if you took that trade the stop loss has now been raised to 2116 as that will also improve on a daily basis starting next week therefore lowering the monetary risk as the chart structure is improving.

New Fed Chair Prematurely Ushers in the PDAC Curse

David Erfle Friday March 02, 2018

Commentaries & Views

Next week, the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention in Toronto will be attended by over 25,000 people from 130 countries, who will be visiting with nearly 1,000 exhibiting organizations. PDAC is the world’s biggest mining industry conference and is also a massive, non-stop, four-day party. Between the hospitality suites at the Royal York, InterContinental and surrounding establishments, there will be numerous client receptions after conference days are concluded.

The companies in attendance usually make sure to send out press releases during the week leading into PDAC, so they have a recent topic of discussion while trying to lure investors into making an investment in their stock. This flurry of news releases into and around the convention leads to an inevitable news drought following it. When combined with seasonal weakness that is common in the gold sector in Q2, we get what has been regularly referred to as the “PDAC Curse”.

This year, with the mining sector mired in what has become a 19-month consolidation, the curse may have come early. Earlier this week, newly appointed Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testified before the U.S. House of Representatives' Financial Services Committee and acknowledged the economy had strengthened recently. Gold was relatively unfazed, until the question and answer period which took a hawkish tone and prompted investors to increase bets on a fourth Fed rate increase in 2018. The reaction torpedoed the mining sector as investors began to focus on a revised Fed Dot Plot and the U.S. dollar zoomed to a 3-week high.

The so-called “Dot Plot” charts the rates by the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) participants in order to determine where the central bank believes rates are going, including its longer-term neutral rate. The Fed is expected to approve its first rate increase of 2018 at its next policy meeting on March 21st and it may also provide an updated Dot Plot. After the concluded meeting speech, Powell will hold his first news conference as the new Fed chair.

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The chart for this year is currently showing three interest rate hikes, and the fed funds futures market is also reflecting the potential for three rate hikes. However, equity investors have become anxious about the idea that there could be another rate increase and considering Powell’s hawkish comments on February 27th, the odds of a fourth hike have risen considerably.

JP Morgan's chief U.S. economist Michael Feroli had been expecting four rate hikes this year, and Powell's comments served to reinforce his view. "Today's (Tuesday’s) comments appear to open the door for others on the Committee to revise their forecast as they see fit, and that Powell himself may be inclined to look for four hikes this year," he wrote in a note. "...We now think the odds are tilted slightly in favor of the median participant revising up their outlook to look for four hikes this year and another three hikes next year."

In the light of this recent reaction in the gold sector, the possibility of the $1300 level being breached has returned, while we head into the March 21st, FOMC meeting. The continued lag of the miners in relation to the gold price is another reason to expect further weakness into the Fed policy meeting and to possibly see the next level of support at the $1270 - $1280 region before the end of Q1.

As mentioned in this column last week, there is a possibility of critical support at the $21 level on the GDX being broken and the action this week raises the odds of this taking place. The continued sell-off after the Powell testimony had the major miner ETF test this region yesterday for the sixth time in the past year. If the $1300 level in gold is indeed breached into quarter-end, then I would expect this support to be broken and the $18 level may come into play quickly on a stop-run.

However, there are a few bright spots in all this precious metal gloom and doom. The U.S. stock market began a sharp reversal after Powell’s remarks and continued much lower with rising volatility on Trump tariff talk into yesterday’s close. Meanwhile, during the last few hours of trade, the gold sector began to de-couple from U.S. equities and the GDX ended the session with an upside reversal from $21 while the DJIA was down over 1.5%.

Furthermore, the silver futures Commitment of Traders (CoT) report issued last Friday showed the net spec position being below 10%, which is comparable to previous silver bottoms in July and December of 2017. The silver price began a two-month uptrend after these previous two net spec positions were reported as being below 10% and a strong silver bounce could lead gold higher in the short-term. We will find out later this afternoon if this figure has improved when the latest precious metal CoT reports are released at 3:30pm EST.

Nevertheless, I have built a 10% cash position in my junior resource stock portfolio in anticipation of a possible gold stock wash-out move happening into Q2. One of the best times to take a low-risk position in a quality junior is when a long-term sector consolidation ends with an over-sold capitulation move lower, so it is wise to be prepared if this scenario presents itself.

Keith Neumeyer Doubles Down On Triple Digit Silver Call

Mar 02, 2018

Keith Neumeyer CEO, First Majestic

Keith Neumeyer, CEO of First Majestic Silver, is sticking to his call that silver eventually will reach double digit prices. “Silver is extremely important, people look at it as the poor man’s gold, which is the absolutely the wrong way to look at silver,” Neumeyer said on the sidelines of the BMO Global Metals & Mining Conference. “Silver is an extremely critical metal, it’s a strategic metal, and the investment community will figure it out eventually.”Neumeyer noted that silver’s strategic prominence often flies under the radar, even when its applications are commonplace.“You couldn’t mine a bitcoin without silver,” he said. “No one talks about silver as the green metal. Silver is critical in achieving what we want to achieve as a human race.


FRIDAY MARCH 2, 2018

Overnight Markets and News

Mar E-mini S&Ps (ESH18 -0.45%) this morning are down -0.50% and European stocks are down -1.57% at a 2-week low. Stocks are falling on concern economic growth and global trade may suffer because of the planned U.S. tariffs on foreign metal imports. European Commission President Juncker said Europe will respond "firmly" to any new duties. An unexpected decline in German Jan retail sales also pressured European stocks. The slump in equities has fueled safe-haven demand for government debt as the 10-year T-note yield fell to a 3-week low of 2.79% and the German 10-year bund yield dropped to a 5-week low of 0.607%. Asian stocks settled lower: Japan -2.50%, Hong Kong -1.48%, China -0.59%, Taiwan -0.81%, Australia -0.74%, Singapore -0.99%, South Korea -1.44%, India closed for holiday. Asian stocks tumbled due to trade concerns as the Nikkei Stock Index fell to a 2-week low. A surge in the yen to a 1-1/4 year high against the dollar also undercut Japanese stocks after BOJ Governor Kuroda said the BOJ will start thinking about how to exit QE around 2019.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.44%) is down -0.38%. EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is up +0.33%. USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is down -0.76% at a 1-1/4 year low after BOJ Governor said the BOJ may exit its stimulus program next year.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 -0.05%) are down -0.5 of a tick.

BOJ Governor Kuroda said "members of the policy board and I think that prices will move to reach our 2% target in around 2019" so the BOJ will start thinking about how to exit its monetary stimulus program around the fiscal year starting in Apr 2019.

The Japan Jan jobless rate fell -0.3 to a 24-3/4 year low of 2.4%, better than expectations of no change at 2.8%. The Jan job-to-applicant ratio was unch at 1.59, weaker than expectations of +0.01 to 1.60.

Eurozone Jan PPI of +0.4% m/m and +1.5% y/y was slightly weaker than expectations of +0.4% m/m and +1.6% y/y with the +1/5% y/y gain the smallest year-on-year increase in 14 months.

German Jan retail sales unexpectedly fell -0.7% m/m, weaker than expectations of +0.7% m/m.

U.S. Stock Preview

Key U.S. news today includes: (1) revised-Feb University of Michigan U.S. consumer sentiment index (expected -0.4 to 99.5, prelim-Feb +4.2 to 99.9).

Notable Russell 1000 earnings reports today include: Foot Locker (consensus $1.29).

U.S. IPO's scheduled to price today: none.

Equity conferences this week: none.

Market Comments

Mar S&P 500 E-mini stock futures (ESH18 -0.45%) this morning are down -13.50 points (-0.50%). Thursday's closes: S&P 500 -1.33%, Dow Jones -1.68%, Nasdaq -1.52%. The S&P 500 on Thursday fell to a 2-week low and closed lower on trade concerns after President Trump said that he will impose a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminum imports, which risked the possibility of starting a trade war. There was also weakness in energy stocks after crude oil prices fell -1.95% to a 2-week low. Stocks found support from the unexpected decline in U.S. weekly jobless claims by -10,000 to a 48-year low of 210,000, and the unexpected +1.7-point increase in the U.S. Feb ISM manufacturing index to a 13-3/4 year high of 60.8, stronger than expectations of -0.4 to 58.7.

Jun 10-year T-note prices (ZNM18 -0.05%) this morning are down -0.5 of a tick. Thursday's closes: TYM8 +18.00, FVM8 +12.25. Jun 10-year T-notes on Thursday rallied to a 2-1/2 week high and closed higher on President Trump's announcement of tariffs on steel and aluminum, which risked starting a trade war that could result in weaker U.S. and global economic growth. T-notes were also supported by carry-over support from a rally in German bunds to a 1-month high, by comments from Fed Chair Powell who said he sees no signs the U.S. economy is overheating, and by increased safe-haven demand with the slide in stocks.

The dollar index (DXY00 -0.44%) this morning is down -0.339 (-0.38%). EUR/USD (^EURUSD) is up +0.0041 (+0.33%) and USD/JPY (^USDJPY) is down -0.81 (-0.76%) at a 1-1/4 year low. Thursday's closes: Dollar Index -0.289 (-0.32%), EUR/USD +0.0073 (+0.60%), USD/JPY -0.44(-0.41%). The dollar index on Thursday retreated from a 1-1/2 month high and closed lower on the slump in stocks, which boosted safe-haven demand for the yen and sent USD/JPY down to a 1-week low. The dollar was also undercut by the decline in the 10-year T-note yield to 3-week low, which reduces the dollar's interest rate differentials. The dollar was boosted by the stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data on weekly jobless claims and the Feb ISM manufacturing index, which was hawkish for Fed policy.

Apr crude oil (CLJ18 -0.46%) this morning is down -34 cents (-0.56%) and Apr gasoline (RBJ18-1.09%) is -0.0230 (-1.21%). Thursday's closes: Apr WTI crude -0.65 (-1.05%), Apr gasoline -0.0282 (-1.47%). Apr crude oil and gasoline on Thursday fell to 2-week lows and closed lower on negative carry-over from Wednesday's EIA data that showed a +0.1% increase in U.S. crude production to a record high of 10.283 million bpd and the fall in the crack spread to a 1-week low, which reduces the incentive for refiners to purchase crude oil to refine into gasoline.

Metals prices this morning are higher with Apr gold (GCJ18 +1.39%) +17.9 (+1.37%), May silver (SIK18 +1.10%) +0.179 (+1.10%), and May copper (HGK18 +0.26%) +0.007 (+0.22%). Thursday's closes: Apr gold -12.7 (-0.96%), May silver -0.131 (-0.80%), May copper -0.0095(-0.30%). Metals on Thursday closed lower with Apr gold at a 2-month low, May silver at a 2-1/2 month low and May copper at a 2-week low. Metals prices were undercut by the early rally in the dollar index to a 1-1/2 month high, and by the stronger-than-expected U.S. economic data on weekly jobless claims and Feb ISM manufacturing, which was hawkish for Fed policy. Metals recovered from their worst levels after Fed Chair Powell said he sees no signs the U.S. economy is overheating, which may keep the Fed on a gradual pace of monetary tightening.

Overnight U.S. Stock Movers

WalMart (WMT -1.03%) was downgraded to 'Perform' from 'Outperform' at Oppenheimer due to gross margin headwinds and cost pressures.

ICU Medical (ICUI -3.52%) rose 4% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 adjusted EPS of $2.98, well above consensus of $1.04, and then said it sees full-year adjusted EPS of $6.60 to 7.30, higher than consensus of $6.49.

Splunk (SPLK +0.47%) rallied 6% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 revenue of $419.7 million, better than consensus of $390.7 million, and said it sees Q1 revenue of $295 million to $297 million, higher than consensus of $294.8 million.

Nektar Therapeutics (NKTR -2.32%) climbed almost 4% in after-hours trading after it reported a Q4 loss per share of -21 cents, narrower than consensus of -36 cents.;

Microchip Technology (MCHP +0.10%) rose 5% in after-hours trading after it bought Microsemi for $8.35 billion. Microsemi MSCC=}) also rallied 5% on the news.

Nordstrom (JWN -1.62%) lost nearly 4% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 gross margin of +35.6%, below consensus of +36.0%.

Ambarella (AMBA -5.01%) gained 4% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 adjusted EPS of 45 cents, above consensus of 37 cents.

The Gap (GPS +0.38%) climbed nearly 9% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 adjusted EPS of 61 cents, better than consensus of 59 cents, and forecast full-year EPS of $2.55 to $2.70, above consensus of $2.41.

Pure Storage (PSTG +0.51%) slumped 9% in after-hours trading after it said it sees Q1 adjusted gross margins 63.5%-66.5%, the midpoint below consensus of 65.7%.

Intrexon (XON -0.92%) jumped 7% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 revenue of $77.0 million, well above consensus of $48.2 million.

American Outdoor Brands (AOBC +4.56%) sank 16% in after-hours trading after it reported Q3 net sales of $157.4 million, weaker than consensus of $172.4 million, and said it sees full-year adjusted EPS of 31 cents to 33 cents, well below consensus of 60 cents.

Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises (BW -4.25%) plunged over 15% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 revenue of $408.1 million, weaker than consensus of $431.7 million.

Southwestern Energy ({=SWN =}) rose almost 5% in after-hours trading after it reported Q4 adjusted EPS of 12 cents, higher than consensus of 9 cents.

OPKO Health (OPK -6.19%) tumbled almost 13% in after-hours trading after it reported a Q4 loss of -38 cents a share, a much wider loss than consensus of -8 cents a share.

Have We Reached Peak Silver? - Hecla CEO Weighs In

Mar 01, 2018

Phil Baker CEO, Hecla Mining

A lack of silver exploration in the last 30 years has caused silver production to reach a peak, said Phil Baker, CEO of Hecla Mining. “I would characterize it as having reached a peak level of silver production,” Baker told Kitco News on the sidelines of the BMO Global Metals & Mining Conference. “There hasn’t been an exploration, certainly in the lead and zinc area, and so there is a continued coming deficit.”Baker noted that silver has demand from new applications that have come into existence in the last 20 years, such as photovoltaic cells, and film equipment

"Blockchain Inevitably Will Overcome Us" –-Goldcorp CEO

Mar 01, 2018

David Garofalo President and CEO, Goldcorp

Blockchain technology will eventually be ubiquitous, like the internet is, and extend its applications from exclusively financial services to general merchandise and services, said David Garofalo, CEO of Goldcorp.“[Blockchain] will drive out transaction costs, and also help track the provenance of our transactions, whether it’s our gold, where it’s being sourced, whether we’re procuring from ethical suppliers,” Garofalo told Kitco News on the sidelines of the BMO Global Metals & Mining Conference. “That’s what blockchain provides is that integrity in the transaction process that currently is not available.”His comments come as Goldcorp has embarked on a program to incorporate the latest technology aimed at improving operational efficiency, such as artificial intelligence and blockchain.On gold prices, Garofalo said that he expects the yellow metal to perform well in today’s current macroeconomic conditions.“Gold is a barometer of [inflation], and in a rising nominal rate environment, inflation is going up as well, real rates go down, and gold does well in that context,” he said.

Gold Is “Where It Should Be” – Pierre Lassonde

Feb 28, 2018

Pierre Lassonde Chairman, Franco-Nevada

While a much higher gold price is needed to bring bullish sentiment back into the mining space, they yellow metal is already fairly priced, said Pierre Lassonde, Chairman of Franco-Nevada Corp.“At $,1300 [an ounce], I will argue that gold is well priced,” Lassonde told Kitco News on the sidelines of the BMO Global Metals & Mining Conference. “It’s not overpriced and it’s not underpriced. It’s where it should be given everything else that’s happening in the world.”Lassonde noted that the industry itself, particularly the producers of precious metals, have been performing well, but much higher gold prices will be needed to secure investors’ interest back into the market. “At $1,300 gold, the mining companies, the operators, are doing well, you can see the balance sheets are better than ever. They’ve learned their lesson and are focusing on margins,” Lassonde said. “But if you look at the investors, they don’t want to hear about it.”Lassonde noted that Franco-Nevada, Newmont, and Agnico Eagle are currently the top performers in the industry, or as he liked to call it, companies with the “golden halo.”

Gold Has "Room To Move" – Osisko CEO

Feb 28, 2018

Sean Roosen CEO, Osisko Mining

Even if gold is unable to make new multi-year highs, the market is still in a good space and the mining sector has room to grow, said Sean Roosen, CEO of Osisko Gold Royalties. “I think the gold market at $1,330-$1,350 is a pretty good price to set the stage for new projects to come online,” Roosen told Kitco News on the sidelines of the Gold Stock Analyst Investor Day Conference. While gold has struggle to make gains against the U.S. dollar, Roosen noted that his company’s portfolio is weighted heavily in Canadian dollar terms, which is holding up well. With gold trading at $1,690 an ounce against the Canadian dollar, the market is only 10% off its all-time highs at C$1,886 an ounce.Roosen said that he doesn’t make investment decisions based on future price forecasts for gold, but rather, makes the assumption that they will be operating in a $1,150- $1,350 an ounce environmen

Active Traders Looking for Bounce in Energy Stocks

By Casey Murphy | February 27, 2018

Energy-related commodities moved sharply lower during the broad market sell-off in early February, but recent price action is now suggesting that traders are starting to take notice again and that a sharp move higher could be in the cards. In this article, we take a close look at energy-related exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and a top holding to determine how traders will likely look to position themselves over the weeks ahead.

iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return Index ETN (OIL

OIL Barclays Bank Underlying Tracker 2005-14.08.36 (Exp.07.08.36) on GS Crude Oil Ret Ser A 7.00 -2.23%)

With the rise in popularity of exchange-traded products, it is now possible for retail investors to gain exposure to commodities such as West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil without the requirement of having a futures trading account. One of the most popular products for trading WTI is the iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return Index ETN, which was designed to track the performance of an unleveraged WTI futures contract.

Taking a look at the chart below, you can see that the price tested the support of a key ascending trendline, and the resultant bounce was confirmation that the bulls are in control of the long-term trend and that a move toward the previous high near $7.50 would be likely. Active traders will also be taking note of the bullish crossover between the moving average convergence divergence (MACD) and its signal line because this common buy signal will likely trigger a surge in momentum and lead to a break above the resistance and generate a further run higher.

Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE XLE Sel Sct En 68.31-1.30% )

Another popular energy-related exchange-traded product that retail investors tend to follow when it comes adding exposure to companies in the oil, gas and consumable fuel as well as the energy equipment and services industries is the Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund. From a fundamental perspective, this fund carries a gross expense ratio of 0.13%, has total net assets of $17.8 billion and comprises 32 holdings.

Taking a look at its chart, it is interesting to note that the price is currently trading near the support of its 200-day moving average, which is one of the key levels of long-term support that traders use when gauging the conviction of the long-term trend. Given how the price action has managed to stay above the support level, it suggests that the bulls are interested in taking a position to make the best of a risk/reward scenario that has not been possible for months. Traders will also use the bullish crossover between the MACD and its signal line to act as confirmation of a move higher, and most of them will likely set their stop-loss orders below $67.15 in case of a sudden reversal.

Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM XOM Exxon Mobil Corp 77.50 -1.70% )

When it comes to energy investments, the 800-pound gorilla is undoubtedly Exxon Mobil. With a dividend of approximately 4% and a retracement toward a key long-term level of support such as the 200-day moving average, some position traders are looking at the recent sell-off as one of the best opportunities to buy since late summer 2017. It is clear from the chart that the sharp drop that occurred in early February over a short few days erased the gains that were made in slow steps for months prior. The rise in fear offered strategic traders with an ideal entry point, and the recent crossover between the MACD and its signal line is now suggesting that the price could be poised to retake more of the losses.

Gold Is The Best Safe Asset And Prices Will Be Higher In 18 Months – Crossborder Capital

Neils Christensen Tuesday February 27, 2018

(Kitco News) - Further tightening of U.S. monetary policy will be negative for the gold market in the near term, but according to one research firm, lower prices could represent a long-term buying opportunity.

In a telephone interview with Kitco News Michael Howell, managing director at Crossborder Capital, said that he sees long-term potential for gold as the U.S. dollar weakens and bond yields rise as investors adjust to shifting value of safe assets.

“The price of safe assets is wrong. We think the U.S. dollar and Treasuries are overvalued. Yields have to go up,” he said. “This is a good long-term environment for gold.”

However, investors still need to navigate the short-term environment as the Federal Reserve tightens its monetary policy and unwind its massive balance sheet. Fed Chair Jerome Powell, pushed gold prices to a two-week low as his optimistic comments on the U.S. economy raised the prospect of four rate hikes in 2018.

April gold futures settled Tuesday session at $1,318.60 an ounce, down 1% on the day. While tighter monetary policy could push gold prices lower, Howell said that investors should take a long-term view of the market.

“We have been telling clients to buy gold on weakness because it will be higher in 18 months,” he said. “On the whole, the entire financial background has to be positive for gold.”

Interestingly, higher bond yields could be the catalyst that helps to push gold prices higher. Crossborder Capital expects yields on 10-year bonds to rise to 3.5% by the end of the year. Traditionally, higher bond yields are negative for the gold market as it raises the precious metal’s opportunity costs.

In the long-term, Howell doesn’t expect higher yields to be a significant headwind for gold, because of the reasons that are driving yields higher. He explained while rising interest rates are helping to boost bond yields, the more prominent factor is “term premia,” which is the market’s supply and demand fundamentals. He said that bond yields are rising because fundamentally supply is growing while demand is falling.

“The appetite for government debt is dropping off pretty fast, so you have to have higher yields to make it more attractive,” he said. We see a repricing of safe assets and gold remains the best, cheapest asset.

Not only does Crossborder Capital see bond yields rising because of weak supply and demand fundamentals, but the firm also expects to see further weakness in the U.S. dollar as it continues to lose influence in a growing global marketplace.

Howell said that the Chinese yuan is now competing with the U.S. dollar to be a significant transaction currency in Asia. In Europe, the euro is also growing as a funding currency, he added.

“Strategically, we think we are at a tipping point. It’s just a question of how quickly things shift,” he said.

Gold, Silver Firmer; Fed Chair Powell On Deck

Jim Wyckoff Monday February 26, 2018

Gold and silver prices were ending the U.S. day session modestly higher Monday, but down from their daily highs. A rebound in the U.S. dollar index from its overnight lows as the U.S. trading session progressed helped to limit buying interest in the precious metals. Also, big rallies in the U.S. stock indexes that have now taken back all of their February losses were a negative for the safe-haven metals markets today. April Comex gold futures were last up $3.50 an ounce at $1,333.80. May Comex silver was last up $0.091 at $16.64 an ounce.

Traders are anxiously awaiting new Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s first speech to the U.S. House of Representatives on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. He speaks to the U.S. Senate on Thursday. Market watchers will parse Powell’s words for clues on the future direction and timing of U.S. monetary policy moves.

The other key outside market on Monday saw Nymex crude oil prices higher and hitting a three-week high above $64.00 a barrel. The recent rebound in the oil market has been a bullish element for the precious metals markets, as well as the entire raw commodity sector.

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Technically, April gold futures prices closed near mid-range today. The gold bulls have the overall near-term technical advantage. Gold bulls' next upside near-term price breakout objective is to produce a close above solid technical resistance at the January high of $1,370.50. Bears' next near-term downside price breakout objective is pushing prices below solid technical support at the February low of $1,309.00. First resistance is seen at today’s high of $1,342.90 and then at $1,350.00. First support is seen at today’s low of $1,328.00 and then at last week’s low of $1,322.90. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 6.0

May silver futures prices closed near mid-range. The silver bears have the slight overall near-term technical advantage. Silver bulls' next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at the February high of $17.04 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid support at $16.00. First resistance is seen at today’s high of $16.785 and then at $17.00. Next support is seen at today’s low of $16.50 and then at last week’s low of $16.415. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 4.5.

May N.Y. copper closed down 95 points at 322.35 cents today. Prices closed nearer the session low. The copper bulls have the firm overall near-term technical advantage. Copper bulls' next upside price objective is pushing and closing prices above solid technical resistance at the December high of 333.35 cents. The next downside price objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at the February low of 304.65 cents. First resistance is seen at today’s high of 325.65 cents and then at last week’s high of 329.05 cents. First support is seen 320.00 cents and then at last week’s low of 317.50 cents. Wyckoff's Market Rating: 7.0.

Newmont On Track To Become World's Biggest Gold Producer

Feb 26, 2018

Gary Goldberg President and CEO, Newmont Mining

Newmont Mining Corp (NEM.N) reported market-beating profits that position it to take the title of world's largest bullion producer in 2018.Newmont, whose 2017 production slightly fell behind industry leader Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), has now upped its 2018 capital budget by $300 million, to $1.2-$1.3 billion.

Buffett Warns Investors To Avoid Borrowing Money To Buy Stocks

By Mark Kolakowski | February 26, 2018 —

Legendary investor Warren Buffett has made it clear in his latest letter to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. BRK.A(BRK.A Berkshire Hathaway Inc 316,126.00 +3.98%) shareholders that he's no fan of margin debt, or loans used to buy stocks. And the billionaire's comments couldn't have come a minute too soon. Investors have accumulated a record $642.8 billion of margin debt, the highest level since the Dotcom Bubble, which worsened the recent correction and threatens to intensify future sell-offs, The Wall Street Journal reports. When it comes to margin debt, Buffett told CNBC , "Even if your borrowings are small and your positions aren't immediately threatened by the plunging market, your mind may well become rattled by scary headlines and breathless commentary. And an unsettled mind will not make good decisions."

Big Risks

The big risk is that stocks are pledged as collateral against these loans, and when the value of that collateral falls in a market plunge, borrowers face what are known as margin calls, forcing them to sell shares, the Journal notes. This, in turn, sends prices yet lower, setting off additional rounds of margin calls followed by yet more selling.

That's what happened during the latest market correction that has rattled so many investors. In fact, the Investopedia Anxiety Index (IAI) indicates that millions of readers worldwide remain extremely concerned about the securities markets, with worries about margin debt undoubtedly being a factor.

Dotcom Bubble Revisited

Based on data starting in 1980, net margin debt in 2017 reached a record 1.31% of the total value of shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), per analysis by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS GS Goldman Sachs Group Inc 271.26 +1.68% ) cited by the Journal. The previous high, per both sources, was 1.27% during the Dotcom Bubble that began deflating in the year 2000. Just as buying stock on margin had a role in fueling that market boom, cascading margin calls had a role in intensifying the subsequent Dotcom Crash.

'Strongest Argument Against Borrowing'

In his letter to shareholders, Buffett cites own experience with Berkshire's shares as "the strongest argument I can muster against ever using borrowed money to own stocks," as quoted by CNBC. When Buffett took over Berkshire in 1964, the stock was valued at about $19.00. Its opening price was $311,240.00 on February 26, meaning that each dollar invested in 1964 now would be worth a mind-boggling $16,381.05. (For more, see also: If You Had Invested Right After Berkskire Hathaway's IPO.)

But Buffett points out this was not a smooth upward ride and that investors who bought his company's shares with margin debt got burned. In the intervening years, Buffett said Berkshire's stock has endured four periods in which it endured big declines: down 59% in 1973-1975, down 37% in 1987, down 49% in 1998-2000, and down 51% in 2008-2009. "There is simply no telling how far stocks can fall in a short period," he writes, as quoted by CNBC. Investors who had bought Berkshire on margin would have had to liquidate much, if not all, of their holdings to meet margin calls during those downdrafts, thus missing out on spectacular future gains.

"For the last 53 years, the company [Berkshire] has built value by reinvesting its earnings and letting compound interest work its magic," Buffett also writes, again per CNBC. Ever the realist, he also warned that big drops in its stock price similar to those mentioned above are likely over the next 53 years. "The light at any time can go from green to red without pausing at yellow," he observed.

Markets Fret Over Federal Reserve's Approach Under New Chair Powell

Sunday February 25, 2018

Kitco News


NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investors are starting to doubt whether they can count on the protective embrace of an accommodative U.S. central bank when markets go haywire.

Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell has said little about the sharp fall in Wall Street stocks this month, besides offering the platitude at his swearing-in ceremony last week that “we will remain alert to any developing risks to financial stability.”

But the spotlight will be on the new Fed chair next week when he faces questions from both houses of the U.S. Congress in semi-annual testimony starting on Tuesday, and his audience will include investors who unceremoniously greeted his early tenure with one of the fastest 10.0 percent falls in Wall Street stocks in history earlier this month.

“I don’t think it is a coincidence that this occurred at the same time as we saw the passing of the baton between two different Fed chairs,” said Kristina Hooper, global market strategist at Invesco Ltd, an asset management company, adding that former Fed chair Janet Yellen had “lulled” markets into complacency. Powell could be very different from Yellen, she said.

The notion that the Fed would always be there to prop up shell-shocked markets prompted the notion of a Fed “put” option under three prior Fed leaders - Janet Yellen, Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan. The term is a reference to the hedging strategy of using a put option to guarantee an investor a sale at a preset price to limit losses.

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While the Fed did not buy stocks or sell options in response to the 2007-2009 financial crisis, it did push short-term interest rates to historic lows and bought bonds, driving down yields. Starved for yield in recent years, investors were forced into the stock market, driving up equity valuations, thanks to the Fed’s policies.

“There was definitely a Yellen put, and it remains to be seen whether there will be a Powell put,” said Hooper.

Yellen’s Fed did later raise interest rates though, starting in late 2015, but it did so more slowly than in earlier cycles and it backed off when markets were stressed. In 2015 and 2016, the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) delivered just one rate hike per year.

The Fed now faces pressure to move more quickly to guard against a possible overheating of the economy, as the Fed’s balance sheet and global interest rates still bear the tidemarks of emergency policies.

The minutes of the Fed’s FOMC meeting on Jan. 30-31, published on Wednesday, showed policymakers expressing the need to keep raising interest rates, with most believing that inflation will rise further. On Friday, the Fed’s semi-annual monetary policy report to Congress, its first under Powell, said the Fed sees steady growth continuing and no serious risks on the horizon that might make the central bank pause its planned pace of rate hikes. “The economic expansion continues to be supported by steady job gains, rising household wealth, favorable consumer sentiment, strong economic growth abroad, and accommodative financial conditions,” the report said.

“This will be one of the more hawkish Feds we have experienced in 20 years,” said Andrew Brenner, head of international fixed income at NatAlliance Securities LLC, a broker-dealer, in a note on Wednesday. A “hawkish” monetary policymaker is more aggressive in warding off inflation.

Higher interest rates could lure cash out of the stock market and into bonds as yields rise. Higher rates could also tighten credit for consumers as well as companies that have struggled to grow their sales as quickly as their profits during this economic recovery.

Some investors have even argued that the Fed’s desire to avoid tripping up markets risks the central bank moving too late to prevent a rise in inflation and a market bubble. The argue that an economy that is overheating would require potentially destabilizing interest rate hikes later.

The Fed needs to slow the economy down a bit for its own good, as so far the Fed’s efforts at tightening financial conditions have not been successful, said Tony Crescenzi, market strategist and portfolio manager at Pacific Investment Management Co.

Striking the right balance is not always easy though. In 2008 the Fed was preoccupied with inflation, while subprime mortgage products built up excessive leverage in bank balance sheets, provoking systemic problems in markets that lead to the worst global recession since the 1930s.

In his first months as a Fed governor back in 2012, Powell was among those who pressured then-chair Bernanke for more clarity on his plan to “taper” the central bank’s bond buying. When Bernanke made the plan public, it triggered the so-called “taper tantrum” sell-off in the bond market in the summer of 2013.

Powell appeared to side with the “hawks” again in the summer of 2015 when he argued two interest rate rises might be needed, but the meltdown in the Chinese stock market that year meant he later backtracked and the Fed eventually raised rates only once that year in December.

Over time Powell’s speeches have come to emphasize how the long spell of loose U.S. monetary policy has given the labor market time to recover, allowing the unemployment rate to fall from a high of 10 percent in 2009 to a 17-year low of 4.1 percent in January this year.

“Market participants would rather see the Fed take actions that sustain the expansion, and that means more rate hikes,” said Crescenzi.

It is unlikely the Fed would “view a dip in the stock market - especially the one that was seen recently - as a reason to come to its rescue,” he said.

8 Reasons To Own Gold

Gold is respected throughout the world for its value and rich history, which has been interwoven into cultures for thousands of years. Coins containing gold appeared around 800 B.C., and the first pure gold coins were struck during the rein of King Croesus of Lydia about 300 years later. Throughout the centuries, people have continued to hold gold for various reasons. Below are eight reasons to own gold today.

A History of Holding Its Value

Unlike paper currency, coins or other assets, gold has maintained its value throughout the ages. People see gold as a way to pass on and preserve their wealth from one generation to the next.

Weakness of the U.S. Dollar

Although the U.S. dollar is one of the world's most important reserve currencies, when the value of the dollar falls against other currencies as it did between 1998 and 2008, this often prompts people to flock to the security of gold, which raises gold prices . The price of gold nearly tripled between 1998 and 2008, reaching the $1,000-an-ounce milestone in early 2008 and nearly doubling between 2008 and 2012, hitting around the $1800-$1900 mark. The decline in the U.S. dollar occurred for a number of reasons, including the country's large budget and trade deficits and a large increase in the money supply.

Inflation

Gold has historically been an excellent hedge against inflation, because its price tends to rise when the cost of living increases. Over the past 50 years investors have seen gold prices soar and the stock market plunge during high-inflation years.

Deflation

Deflation, a period in which prices decrease, business activity slows and the economy is burdened by excessive debt, has not been seen globally since the Great Depression of the 1930s. During that time, the relative purchasing power of gold soared while other prices dropped sharply.

Geopolitical Uncertainty

Gold retains its value not only in times of financial uncertainty, but in times of geopolitical uncertainty. It is often called the "crisis commodity," because people flee to its relative safety when world tensions rise; during such times, it often outperforms other investments. For example, gold prices experienced some major price movements this year in response to the crisis occurring in the European Union. Its price often rises the most when confidence in governments is low.

Supply Constraints

Much of the supply of gold in the market since the 1990s has come from sales of gold bullion from the vaults of global central banks. This selling by global central banks slowed greatly in 2008. At the same time, production of new gold from mines had been declining since 2000. According to BullionVault.com, annual gold-mining output fell from 2,573 metric tons in 2000 to 2,444 metric tons in 2007 (however, according to Goldsheetlinks.com, gold saw a rebound in production with output hitting nearly 2,700 metric tons in 2011.) It can take from five to 10 years to bring a new mine into production. As a general rule, reduction in the supply of gold increases gold prices.

Increasing Demand

In previous years, increased wealth of emerging market economies boosted demand for gold. In many of these countries, gold is intertwined into the culture. India is one of the largest gold-consuming nations in the world; it has many uses there, including jewelry. As such, the Indian wedding season in October is traditionally the time of the year that sees the highest global demand for gold (though it has taken a tumble in 2012.) In China, where gold bars are a traditional form of saving, the demand for gold has been steadfast.

Demand for gold has also grown among investors. Many are beginning to see commodities, particularly gold, as an investment class into which funds should be allocated. In fact, SPDR Gold Trust, became one of the largest ETFs in the U.S., as well as one of the world's largest holders of gold bullion in 2008, only four years after its inception.

Portfolio Diversification

The key to diversification is finding investments that are not closely correlated to one another; gold has historically had a negative correlation to stocks and other financial instruments. Recent history bears this out:

The 1970s was great for gold, but terrible for stocks.

The 1980s and 1990s were wonderful for stocks, but horrible for gold.

2008 saw stocks drop substantially as consumers migrated to gold.

Properly diversified investors combine gold with stocks and bonds in a portfolio to reduce the overall volatility and risk.

The Bottom Line

Gold should be an important part of a diversified investment portfolio because its price increases in response to events that cause the value of paper investments, such as stocks and bonds, to decline. Although the price of gold can be volatile in the short term, it has always maintained its value over the long term. Through the years, it has served as a hedge against inflation and the erosion of major currencies, and thus is an investment well worth considering.